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Merabishvili Questioned Over 'Fake Passport'
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 1 Dec.'12 / 20:21

Vano Merabishvili, secretary general of UNM party and former prime minister, left the Interior Ministry’s investigative unit after less than two hours of questioning on Saturday evening.

The Interior Ministry said that investigation was launched into alleged use of a fake passport by Merabishvili on November 30.

After the questioning Merabishvili made a brief statement, but declined to respond journalists’ questions. 

“My presence here in the police is very symbolic,” said Merabishvili, who was powerful interior minister for more than seven years before becoming PM in July; he served as PM before late October when the new government led by PM Bidzina Ivanishvili took the office.

“It is of course regrettable that today the police and the Interior Ministry are being used by Ivanishvili as repressive machine against dissent,” Merabishvili added.

It was not immediately clear what, if any, legal proceedings the police were intending to take in respect of this alleged fake passport case.

President Saakashvili released a written statement on Saturday evening in which he expressed hope that “this absurd investigation against Vano Merabishvili will be ceased.”

“The idea itself that Vano Merabishvili could have used fake passport during an official visit is so absurd that it’s difficult to even comment on it,” Saakashvili said, adding that “only very reckless people” could have come up with such allegation.

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