TBILISI, DFWatch–President Mikheil Saakashvili says he ordered the establishment of underground weapons caches all over the country. He said, in case of renewed aggression, Georgia wouldn’t be ‘unprotected as it was in 2008.’
“There is nothing new for me in that weapons caches were created in the country,” he said during a visit to Gori on Sunday. “I think we can all guess that there were no video tapes in the weapons cache,” he added.
The president responded to a recent discovery by the Interior Ministry in the Samegrelo region of a weapons cache that also contained drugs and video tapes with illegal surveillance footage of people’s private life, as well as scenes of rape and torture.
“If anyone committed a crime, they should be punished,” the president said, adding that it is not correct to say that it was happening on a massive scale.
“We didn’t live in a lie, we lived in our country with both feet on the ground. We were seeing that there was a much better situation in the police than before.”
The president said many were punished in the past and hundreds of policemen were punished.
“But probably we couldn’t punish someone who again committed a crime. There are always some swindlers in every government,” he added.
Prison Minister Sozar Subari Monday responded to the president’s statement by saying that he is sure Mikheil Saakashvili personally gave the order and he will be held responsible for it.
“This is another confession. Soon the time will come for him to be convicted, and we will see that he will be held responsible for every crime that he has committed,” the minister said, adding that the torture and other crimes documented in the videos were Saakashvili’s personal responsibility.
After the cache June 17 was discovered in barrels buried in the ground, the Interior Ministry decided to display the footage to foreign diplomats in Georgia in order to ‘show what was happening during the previous government.’ Later the ministry also organized a screening for media workers and human rights groups.
Today a delegation from Georgia will presented the videos at a session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, which has scheduled a debate about the ‘deteriorating situation’ in Georgia.