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MIA Senior Official ‘Water Kidding’
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 26 Apr.'09 / 23:17

A senior official from the Interior Ministry has tossed plastic bag with water on his employees “for the purpose of kidding” and not on protesters, Davit Bakradze, the parliamentary chairman, said on Sunday.

Tbilisi-based pro-opposition Maestro TV aired footage showing Vasil Sanodze, head of Interior Ministry’s internal investigations unit – the General Inspection - coming out on the balcony of his office, holding a plastic bag filled with water and throwing it down from the balcony and then hurriedly walking back into room. Maestro TV has claimed that water was poured on opposition activists, who are camped at the building as part of ‘town of cells’ campaign.

“I have watched that footage and contacted the Interior Ministry and they informed me that it was a plastic bag filled with water, which Mr. Sanodze has tossed at his own employees with a purpose of kidding,” Davit Bakradze, the parliamentary chairman, told the public TV’s program, Political Week, on April 26.

“Are you joking?” an anchor, Inga Grigolia, asked the Parliamentary Chairman.

“Show the footage whom that plastic back fell on,” Bakradze said. The vide footage, which is shot from distance, shows only the moment of tossing the plastic bag without capturing what was happening at that time down on the street.

“So I am not joking at all; it is seen that the person is drenching someone from the balcony; yes that might be a bad kind of kidding, but not a crime at all… It might be a bad behavior, an immature type of behavior and it will be reacted internally within the Ministry… There is no evidence, no footage showing where that plastic bag fell.”

Official position of Vasil Sanodze in the Interior Ministry remains unclear. He was suspended from office, along with some other Interior Ministry officials, in connection to the case involving murder of Sandro Girgvliani in 2006. On April 25, Shota Utiashvili, head of interior ministry’s information and analytical department, told Civil.Ge that Sanodze did not hold any formal position. The Georgian media reports say that he was restored on his position of head of general inspection, held before being suspended in 2006, just recently. In his comments Davit Bakradze has never suggested that Sanodze was still suspended.

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