TBILISI, DFWatch–The Minister of Agriculture, Davit Kirvalidze, resigned on Thursday taking responsibility for a fraudulent scheme uncovered in his ministry which recently led to ten people being detained.
Police on Wednesday detained ten employees suspected of being involved in fraud in connection with an agricultural voucher program. The vouchers allowed farmers to buy various equipment. Those who are detained are suspected of forging documents about the distribution of vouchers and thereby appropriating part of the money.
The suspects may face from 6 to 9 years in jail, but the investigation is not yet finished. Thursday, Kirvalidze informed journalists that he would resign.
“I know most of those [detained] persons very well. Many of them are my friends and teachers. That’s why I take political responsibility and I have applied to the government for my resignation until truth is revealed,” he said.
His duties are now carried out by his deputy Shalva Pipia. Government officials do not exclude that Kirvalidze may return to his position after the investigation is finished, but he himself declined to say whether he may return.