TBILISI, DFWatch–Saakashvili’s National Movement is meeting resistance in its efforts to play the crime card in the election campaign.
“No-one should be led by Saakashvili to try to score political points in my child’s name,” says Khatuna Kortava, aunt of Levan Kortava, who died in prison May 23, 2013, with bruises like he was beaten. Three staff at Geguti prison were later detained.
“Why did Mr President, [National Movement MP] Akaki Minashvili and his poeople remember Levan Kortava one month before the election? Where were they before?”
Mrs Kortava recalled the many years Saakashvili and his people held power and said her nephew was a victim of what the previous regime made the prison system into.
“Have we forgotten the brooms? Is it possible to forget them?” she asked, in reference to the video clips of Abu Ghraib style abuse shown on TV ahead of the 2012 election.
She repeated her call for punishment of everyone involved in her nephew’s death, but said Levan Kortava was also a victim of a system of abuse, mafia and murder in the Georgian prison system, created by the Akhalaia brothers.
The National Movement party also tried to politicize the murder of a 16 years old girl in Batumi, but the family said the girl’s death shouldn’t be exploited.
After losing power in last year’s parliamentary election, and losing much of its supporters, the core people have moved to rebrand the party and distance themselves from the past. It has been fast to generalize from single acts of crime and argued that the mass amnesty created an increase in crime. The government claims crime is contained.