Georgia’s Interior Minister Giorgi Mghebrishvili has just made his first comment and denied the authenticity of an audio recording spread on Youtube, in which he allegedly speaks with his Ukrainian counterpart over the extradition of Georgia’s third president, Mikheil Saakashvili.
Interior Minister responds to allegations
By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Wednesday, August 16
In the recording spread by strana.ua, the Minister also says Saakashvili’s extradition is not in the interests of the current Georgian Dream leadership in Georgia.
Mghebrishvili repeated the statement released by his body that the recording had nothing to do with the truth, and it was something fabricated.
Mghebrishvili added that through spreading such recordings, the FSB and the United National Movement opposition were trying to “discredit” the Georgian Dream authorities.
“I want to make it clear that I do not care about this issue,” Mghebrishvili stated.
The Minister stressed that the opposition, which demands that the authenticity of the recording be checked, can do this themselves if they wish.
Earlier, the Ministry of Internal Affairs’ press office stated about the case that “even the fact that two ministers are speaking about state-important issues on an unprotected telephone cannot be taken seriously.”
Russian pranksters are ready to hand over the recording of the conversation with the Minister of Internal Affairs of Georgia to "any experts", Alexei Stolarov (Lexus) told the radio station “Govorit Moskva”.
"He [Mghebrishvili] is not the first person who denies the conversation with us. In such cases, be it Erdogan or the NATO Secretary General, we have always given the recordings to an independent expertise agency and the conversations have always been confirmed authentic. We have the personal cell phone number of the Minister and we will present it if needed," said Stolyarov.
He said Mghebrishvili violated internal instructions with a non-protected telephone connection.
"The Minister of Internal Affairs is a law enforcer and he is prohibited by internal regulation from discussing such topics through open telephone lines. Of course, his reputation is now somewhat doubtful. He exposed a secret deal of the Prime Minister of Georgia and Poroshenko," Stolarov said.
Strana.ua stands behind the footage in which the famous Russian “telephone hooligans” Vovan and Lexus claims that Lexus talks with the Minister of Internal Affairs of Georgia Giorgi Mghebrishvili on behalf of Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov.
In the recording, Mghebrishvili refers to Saakashvili with obscene words and asks Ukraine not to extradite him to Georgia.
The Georgian minister allegedly says that this position is agreed with Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili.
Saakashvili stated that the recording confirmed he was “politically persecuted” and that Ukraine’s President’s visit to Georgia in July was because of his extradition.
Saakashvili was deprived of his Ukrainian citizenship on July 26, shortly after Poroshenko’s visit to Georgia, on the grounds that he concealed his ‘wanted’ status in Georgia.
Now he is without any citizenship.
Saakashvili, who served as Georgia’s third president from 2004-2007 and again from 2008-2013, is accused of the violent dispersal of anti-government mass protests on November 7, 2007; the unlawful raiding of the Imedi television company by riot police; and the illegal take-over of property owned by late media tycoon Badri Patarkatsishvili.
In 2014, Saakashvili was officially charged in Georgia; however, at that time he was already in Ukraine.