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Georgia’s interior minister must explain warning against 2008 war

by | Apr 26, 2012

Interior minister Vano Merabishvili must come to parliament today to explain what happened in late 2006, when an influential businessman says he warned Merabishvili against getting the country entangled in a war.

TBILISI, DFWatch – Georgia’s interior minister, Vano Merabishvili, must today answer a question in parliament about a warning he received a year and a half before the war with Russia in August 2008.

The billionaire who says he made the warning is now building an opposition movement ahead of a parliamentary election in October.

Unity for Justice asks the interior minister to confirm or deny information released by Bidzina Ivanishvili in one of his letters in October, 2011, when he wrote about a meeting with President Mikheil Saakashvili a year and half before the Russo-Georgia war in 2008.

He wrote that on the president’s orders he visited the Secretary of Georgia’s Security Council, Alexander Lomaia, to assure him not to take risky decision – not to take Georgian troops to Samachablo (breakaway South Ossetia). The interior minister attended this meeting, according to the businessman.

This is one of the 26 questions the government must address in parliament today. Five ministers have been called to attend: the justice minister, the penitentiary and probation minister, the education minister, the culture minister and the interior minister. They were called on by the parliamentary faction Unity for Justice and questions range from an arrest last year to education, protection of monuments and a billionaire’s citizenship.

The interior minister and justice minister will be asked a question about a case in 2011, when two persons, the brothers Lutidze, where arrested by plainclothes police officers after verbal and physical abuse. The opposition says there are doubts about the brothers’ guilt, and they want to know what legal assessment was done by the Interior Ministry’s General Inspection and if the material is sent to General Prosecutor’s office.

The justice minister also has to explain the reasons for refusing opposition billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili’s application for citizenship.

The education minister will be asked whether education’s share of financing in relation to GDP will increase, while the culture minister will be asked to present an agreement signed with Turkey about cultural heritage.



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