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Row over Okruashvili’s Lawyers
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 8 Oct.'07 / 17:28

Eka Beselia, who claims to be ex-Defense Minister Irakli Okruashvili’s lawyer, said she had been denied access to her client after the General Prosecutor’s Office released video footage of Okruashvili’s testimony. Meanwhile, the General Prosecutor’s Office has claimed that Beselia is no longer Okruashvili’s lawyer.

At a news conference Beselia, who is also a member of Okruashvili’s political party, said she had tried several times on October 8 to meet with Okruashvili in the jail. However, the prison administration “on orders from the General Prosecutor’s Office”, she said, had refused to allow her in.

“All this indicates that Okruashvili's confession was made under pressure, which is a grave violation of the law and international standards. I will continue representing Okruashvili’s interests unless Okruashvili himself personally tells me that he does not want me to be his lawyer,” Beselia said.

Meanwhile, the General Prosecutor’s Office said Okruashvili himself rejected Beselia to represent him and testimony was given in presence of his new lawyer. The General Prosecutor’s Office has also disseminated a handwritten letter, claimed to be by Okruashvili.

“At this stage of investigation I no longer want Eka Beselia to represent my interests,” the letter reads.

Giga Giorgadze, a deputy public defender, met with Okruashvili in jail on October 8. He told reporters after the meeting that he had asked Okruashvili about the row over the lawyers, but Okruashvili, Giorgadze said, had declined to comment on the matter.

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