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Lithuanian businessman detained in Georgia

by | May 30, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch–The Prosecutor’s Office in Georgia has confirmed for DF Watch that a Lithuanian businessman has been detained.

According to the office, Saulius Vaitkevičius, owner of supermarket chain Populi, is charged with appropriation of another company’s money. He is currently being held in isolation in a temporary detention facility. The name of the other company is unknown.

Vaitkevičius’ wife first went public about the detention in Lithuanian media, after which the press office of the Georgian Prosecutor’s Office confirmed it for DF Watch.

Saulius Vaitkevičius is head of the Baltic Chamber of Commerce in Georgia. His wife says that Saulius sold his business in Georgia and was planning to go to Lithuania on Wednesday when he was detained.

She told Lithuanian media that after her husband was unexpectedly detained at Tbilisi airport, she called a lawyer and explained that he was taken to the isolator, but the lawyer couldn’t find him at the isolator that she indicated.

“They visited every detention isolator but he wasn’t in any of them. The services at the airport also were unable to confirm that such a person was detained. We didn’t know where he was until 11 pm,” she said.

‘He was not officially charged with anything. He simply had to come up with the way he was related to the former government,” Vaitkevičiene said.

He wasn’t charged until 5 pm in the evening.

“He was asked about how he was related to the former government. The lawyers talked to the prosecutors, and they said that he is related to the former government, that he would pay bribes, that he was related to the government and Darius Jurgelevičius who, as far as I know, is a former adviser to [former Prime Minister] Vano Merabishvili,” Lithuanian media quotes her saying.

Former Prime Minister Vano Merabishvili, who is Secretary General of Saakashvili’s United National Movement party, was detained last week on three different charges. Kutaisi City Court went through the charges and decided to place him in pre-trial detention last week.



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