TBILISI, DFWatch–Irakli Alasania, the former defense minister who was fired after some of his staff were detained for embezzlement, Friday issued an ultimatum: If the court finds the detainees guilty, he will mobilize people and launch protest rallies against the ‘informal rule’ of Bidzina Ivanishvili, the godfather of the Georgian Dream coalition.
“This will be the last straw for the events to move to a new stage. Namely, I will start to mobilize people and supporters for street rallies and call on the public to directly, even physically start fighting against Ivanishvili’s informal government,” Alasania said on Friday, appearing on Pirveli TV.
The statement made by the chief prosecutor amounted to pressure on the judge, the Free Democrats leader continued.
“If the judge makes a biased verdict of guilty, this will only prove that the judges of Georgia do what Ivanishvili orders them to,” he added.
Tbilisi City Court is going through the final session of the case concerning officials of the Defense Ministry, mostly known as so-called ‘cables’ case.’
Five Defense Ministry officials were arrested on October 28, 2014. Four of them were charged with embezzlement of public money and placed in preliminary detention, but after eight months, the Prosecutor General’s Office asked a judge to release them on 10,000 laris bail. The judge, Davit Jugheli, released the officials on bail.
The controversy surrounding the case led to Alasania’s dismissal as defense minister and his party’s withdrawal from the coalition. The Free Democrats have since been a vocal critic of the government.