TBILISI, DFWatch — NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen expresses concern about the detention of political and military officials in Georgia.

‘I’m extremely concerned about the development we have, not least related to recent arrests of political opponents in Georgia,” he said at NATO Parliamentary Assembly session in Prague on Monday.

He said it is important that such trials are not undermined by political interference.

“And we will of course follow that development very very closely,” Reuters quotes him.

November 7, Georgia’s new government detained Bacho Akhalaia, former interior minister, Zurab Shamatava, commander of the Fourth Brigade and Giorgi Kalandadze, head of the General Headquarters.

The latter two were released against a USD 12 000 bail each and later suspended from their positions, while Akhalaia was sentenced to preliminary detention until December 25. He is charged with abuse of power and illegal deprivation of freedom, but the chief prosecutor has said that there are other complaints against him that may translate into additional charges being added.

NATO’s military commission to Georgia had planned a visit these days, but it was postponed, causing concern among the opposition National Movement Party. The reason might be political detentions, but the government claims it’s because the position as head of the general headquarters was vacant, and this is the host of the commission. There will soon be in place a replacement.