TBILISI, DFWatch–The Prosecutor General’s Office on Wednesday questioned former Deputy Defense Minister Zaza Broladze for nine hours in connection with the ‘cables case’, for which the Defense Minister Irakli Alasania was sacked last year.
As he left the building after being questioned, Broladze declined to share any details due to the classified nature of the case, but he said he didn’t mention Alasania during questioning.
Five Defense Ministry officials were detained in October, 2014, accused of embezzlement of about USD 2.3 million.
Alasania said at the time that he was confident that the five were innocent and asked law enforcement bodies for further explanation, but what he got in response was the detention of a few other officials in the ministry, and his own dismissal.
After Alasania was dismissed, two of his allies in the government resigned: former Foreign Minister Maia Panjikidze, who is sister of Alasania’s wife, and Irakli Petriashvili, former Minister for Euro and Euro Atlantic Integration. Alasania’s party, the Free Democrats, withdrew from the ruling coalition.
The embezzlement case centers on an agreement between the Defense Ministry and the telecom company Silknet.
Broladze said on Wednesday that he resigned from post in November, 2013; before the time when the agreement was signed, in December, 2013. He also said that Alasania was not in charge of signing the agreement but received information about every issue brought up during sessions.
The investigation into the Defense Ministry’s contract with Silknet is continuing. This was the first time Broladze has been questioned. Earlier, Alexi Batiashivli, another former deputy minister, was questioned.