A top official working for the regime in Tskhinvali says he agrees with revelations the financier Bidzina Ivanishvili put forth in a lengthy open letter published Wednesday as part of his effort to unseat president Saakashvili and give the country back to its people.
A close advisor to so-called South Ossetian president Eduard Kokoiti told the RES news agency today that he can confirm Ivanishvili’s shocking accusations against one of president Saakashvili’s closest associates.
According to the Georgian financier, one year prior to the Russo-Georgian war in 2008, Saakashvili confidance Giga Bokeria wanted to attack the South Ossetian city Tskhinvali, arguing that the Russian peacekeepers there would not put up a fight. But Ivanishvili, who seems to have been present at the meeting, alongside other in Saakashvili’s inner circle, managed to dissuade Bokeria, and the plan was cancelled.
Today Boris Chochiev said he can confirm that Georgia had been planning an attack on South Ossetia not only in 2004 and 2008, but also in 2006, and had been preparing his own personal plan for how to regain the lost territory, a plan going by the code name “Clear Field”.
“And the plan was worked out by Bokeria, although he was not a minister of internal affairs, nor the Secretary of Defense. He did not even represent any law enforcement bodies of Georgia,” he told the agency.
Chochiev argues that Bokeria, a close confidance of the Georgian president had assumed or been given powers far extending what his formal position would allow for.
“How did someone who was just a deputy have such power? Could he deal with such serious matters as sending troops into another state’s territory?” Chochiev asks.
If we are to believe the South Ossetian official, Bokeria got his powers not from Saakashvili, but from a country that strongly supports Georgia in various ventures. He did not specify which country he meant.
Chochiev further doesn’t hold back scolding the close Saakashvili confidance, who currently serves as the country’s secretary of the National Security Council and was a leading activist during the Rose Revolution in 2003.
“Because in 2006 he was deputy prime, but it turns out, he led many serious things, and now he is the chief ideologist of the Georgian gangster regime,” Chochiev told RES agency.
He is convinced that what he calls Georgia’s friends will try to give various explanations and rebuttals to Ivanishvili’s statements, because these friends are the “ideological leaders of Bokeria, Saakashvili and their like”, he said
“Ivanishvili’s statement once again confirms the correctness of our repeated statements during the Geneva discussions and elsewhere, that while in power in Georgia, Saakashvili and his criminal gang, do not expect any results of the working out of a treaty about non-use of force against South Ossetia and Abkhazia,” Boris Chochiev said today.
Ivanishvili’s second open letter caused a stir in the small southern Caucasus nation which is an important transit route for gas and oil from the Caspian Sea to Europe.
“Bokeria was urging the deployment of Georgian troops in South Ossetia, and hoped that Russian military stationed there as peacekeepers would let Georgians into Tskhinvali without resistance. You attended the meeting with Saakashvili when I managed to dissuade Bokeria in 40 minutes,” the businessman remembers.
“He stepped back and refused to set a plan, when suddenly Saakashvili said: What if the Russians themselves suggest doing it, what should we do then? And I warned him, unless the Russian Foreign Ministry doesn’t make an official statement, don’t do anything, even if they grant you this territory.”
Meanwhile support has been pouring in for Bidzina Ivanishvili, the richest person in Georgia, who built the nation’s most important religous site, Sameba cathedral in Tbilisi, and has a long-standing record of charity. Thursday, one of the country’s most beloved authors Jabua Amirejibi put his support behind the financier. Also footballer and investor Georgi Kiknadze said he supports Ivanishvili.