Shota Khizanishvili, deputy Tbilisi mayor and former deputy interior minister, is questioned by prosecutors in connection to yet unspecified case.
The prosecutor’s office said in a brief written statement that its anti-corruption department opened investigation “in connection to some employees of the Interior Ministry” and former deputy interior minister, Shota Khizanishvili, was questioned in connection to this case, details of which are not provided in the statement.
It says that a senior official from Interior Ministry’s Department of Constitutional Security, Vazha Leluashvili, was also being questioned in connection to the same case.
Head of the Interior Ministry’s Department of Constitutional Security and several other Interior Ministry officials were arrested overnight on Thursday; it is not yet clear whether those arrests are related to questioning of Khizanishvili and Leluashvili or not.
Khizanishvili was chief of Interior Ministry’s administration when the ministry was led by Vano Merabishvili; Khizanishvili was then promoted to the post of deputy interior minister after Bacho Akhalaia replaced Merabishvili on the post of interior minister in early July, 2012. After the October 1 parliamentary elections Khizanishvili was appointed as deputy to Tbilisi Mayor Gigi Ugulava, who is President Saakashvili’s close ally.
In televised remarks Ugulava, who is now visiting Italy, condemned, as he put it, “arrest” of his deputy as “political persecution”.
Ugulava, who recently had a verbal altercation with PM Ivanishvili during a government meeting, said that the new government was moving towards “dictatorship.”
“We are entering into a fierce confrontation. This person, I mean the Prime Minister, has decided to attack all those institutions, which are not under his control,” Ugulava said. “There will either be a democratic process in Georgia or we will receive revenge instead of promised welfare. I want to warn him… that this confrontation will damage our country.”
“We should sit down at the table and resolve the problems as civilized countries do. But if the government decides to go down the path of political blackmailing and if the government chooses the path of revenge it is a boomerang, which will hit you back; that’s something that needs to be realized well by each and every person who is now involved in this dirty revanchist activity.”