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Commission Studying War to Open Hearings Next Week
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 17 Oct.'08 / 18:36

A temporary parliamentary commission charged with studying the August war will open its hearings by summoning Gela Bezhuashvili, the chief of intelligence service, and Eka Tkeshelashvili, the foreign minister on October 23.

On October 25 the members of the commission will hear to testimonies by State Minister for Reintegration Temur Iakobashvili and Secretary of the National Security Council Alexander Lomaia.  

A member of the commission, MP Givi Targamadze of the ruling party, said that period and events proceeding the August war should be at first thoroughly studied, because Russia started undertaking active measures to prepare aggression at least six months before the war started.

“So we will listen to those senior officials at first who have more information about this pre-war period,” he said, adding that “power-wielding minister” – Defense and Interior Ministers, will be summoned on the next stage of the commission’s work.

The commission – an official name of which is a Temporary Commission to Study Russia’s Military Aggression and Other Actions Undertaken with the Aim to Infringe Georgia’s Territorial Integrity - approved the schedule of work at a session on October 17, noting that the hearings would be broadcasted live. It, however, still remains unclear which TV station will air the hearings. Traditionally, the parliament’s plenary sessions are broadcasted by the public TV’s Channel 2.

MP Paata Davitaia of the parliamentary minority, who chairs the commission, although acknowledged that as a result of consultations with experts and foreign diplomats it had emerged that the question “who started shooting first” was the most often asked, said he deemed this question “inappropriate.”

“Although I believe that this question is not correct, we have to anyway answer this question as well,” he said. “The major focus, however, should be whether it was possible or not to avert what has happened.”

Most opposition parties, which have no representation in the Parliament, have already dismissed the commission, saying its conclusions would be worthless. Opposition parities claim that parties in the parliamentary minority, which are represented on the commission, are “the government’s satellites.”

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