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Justice Minister Attacks Head of Transparency International Georgia

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Wednesday, October 24
Georgian Justice Minister Thea Tsulukiani has attacked current Executive Director of the Transparency International Georgia Eka Gigauri by saying that the latter could have encouraged the dispersal of the November 7, 2007, peaceful rally during the time of the United National Movement.

Tsulukiani said that “former high-ranking police official and now the head of TI Georgia” avoids answering the questions in the court about her role in the anti-UNM rally, which finally led to snap presidential elections in 2008.

Tsulukiani made the statement at the Copenhagen International Anti-Corruption Conference in response to the question of the TI representative Giorgi Oniani on why the open governance process failed in Georgia and why did the government continue to attack the civil sector.

She said that the civil sector is “absolutely free in Georgia” and his [Oniani’s] presence at the conference in Denmark was one of the evidence of this.

Tsulukiani stated that Georgians have a right to know about the role of Gigauri in the brutal dispersal of the 2007 rally in central Tbilisi.

Gigauri responded that Tsulukiani continued to attack the civil sector and her “gossiping” in the foreign country discrediting only her [Tsulukiani] and the image of the country.

"Instead of answering the allegations regarding alleged corruption and investigation of specific cases, she continues to attack the civil sector.

“Tsulukiani ignored us when we were demanding structural reforms in the anti-corruption direction. She did not support the initiative of creating an anti-corruption service, the need for which has been particularly demonstrated by the recent developments [leakage of recordings by Rustavi 2 about alleged elite corruption],” Gigauri said and stated that she launched the process in the court regarding her role in the rally and not anyone else, to respond to “false accusations.”

Between 2005 and 2008 Gigauri served as deputy head of the Georgian border police.