Irakli Alasania, the leader of opposition Alliance for Georgia, said that audio and video tapes put forth by the Interior Ministry as evidence to implicate some opposition activists on arms charges, were “not convincing” enough to make a conclusion.
“Even the official investigation itself has not yet made a final conclusion; so we should wait for that,” Alasania said in a brief comment aired by the Tbilisi-based Maestro TV on March 25.
Ten persons, nine of them affiliated with former parliamentary speaker Nino Burjanadze’s party, have been arrested on charges of illegal purchase of firearms overnight on March 23. Two other persons were also held in what the police said was a separate case also involving arms charges.
Nino Burjanadze, the leader of Democratic Movement–United Georgia party, said in a live interview with the public TV’s late night talk show, First Topic, on March 24, that she would be the first “to demand punishment of criminals – no matter of their party affiliation – if firm evidence are put forth proving their guilt.” She, however, said that the evidence provided by the investigation needed a thorough, independent examination to find out in what circumstances they were produced.
Burjanadze also did not rule out possibility that some of the detainees from her party were “infiltrators” deliberately sent by the law enforcement agencies for provocative actions.