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Ex-Envoy in Moscow Wants to Testify Before War Commission
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 3 Nov.'08 / 13:58

Erosi Kitsmarishvili, the Saakashvili administration former insider and Georgia's former ambassador to Russia, said he “categorically demands” to be questioned by the parliamentary commission studying the August war.

“I am a person who was involved in the processes preceding the July-August conflict,” Kitsmarishvili, a founder and former owner of Rustavi 2 TV, said in an interview with the Georgian weekly, Kviris Palitra, published on November 3. “I know everything why we could not avert the large-scale conflict. If the commission is not interested in my position, it would mean that the commission was set up just to stage a show.”

MP Akaki Minashivli of the ruling party, who is a member of the parliamentary commission, told Civil.Ge on November 3, that the commission “will summon everyone who might have any valuable information about the matter and Erosi Kitsmarishvili may be among them” who would be summoned.

The commission has already questioned six officials including chief of staff of the armed force, Zaza Gogava; senior MoD official in charge of Georgian peacekeeping operations in South Ossetia, Mamuka Kurashvili; Secretary of National Security Council, Alexandre Lomaia; State Minister for Reintegration, Temur Iakobashvili; Foreign Minister, Eka Tkeshelashvili and chief of intelligence service, Gela Bezhuashvili.

The commission plans to resume hearings on November 8; the commission has yet to decide who will be the next official questioned at the November 8 hearings.

Kitsmarishvili, who in September accused his former allies in the Georgian government of a failure to avert the August war, also said in the newspaper interview that those responsible for the war “on the Georgian side should be punished.” “I mean senior ranking officials,” he added.

His newspaper interview last month in which Kitsmarishvili lashed out at his former allies triggered mixed reactions even in the opposition with some of them saying Kitsmarishvili’s salvo was “like rats deserting sinking ship.”

“I can understand the authorities reaction, because I know lots of things about them; as far as the opposition’s reaction is concerned, I can say that the opposition thinks they have ‘privatized’ [the status of] being in the opposition,” Kitsmarishvili said. “If they say that I have deserted a sinking ship – here is the ship and let’s see how they manage to sink it. I have not seen anyone throughout these years capable of genuinely competing with the authorities.”

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