PM-designate and acting interior minister, Irakli Garibashvili, said “several hundred” people were victims of forced disappearance under the previous authorities.
He made the remarks during a meeting with GD parliamentary majority group as part of the parliamentary hearings ahead of the Wednesday’s vote of confidence. His remarks were made in response to a question by GD MP Victor Japaridze, who asked about disappearance of Davit Tsindeliani on August 16, 2008. Tsindeliani’s family says he was abducted by security officers and murdered after accusing him of espionage in favor of Russia – allegation which was denied by the previous leadership of the interior ministry.
“That was a reality when many people were disappearing. I am not speaking right now specifically about the Tsindeliani case, but in general there were many people who disappeared. We are carrying out an investigation into the several cases of disappearance. Unfortunately, and regrettably for the parliamentary minority group members, signs of a serious crime is emerging that persons mentioned by them were involved in abduction of various persons and their murder,” Garibashvili said responding to MP’s question.
Before his meeting with GD lawmakers, Garibashvili appeared before UNM parliamentary minority group during which one of the questions asked to him was related to the arrest of former security officer, Roman Shamatava, who is accused of carrying out 2008 Khurcha attack. UNM lawmakers were criticizing the authorities for arresting Shamatava, who as UNM MP Givi Targamadze put it, did “deeds of special importance for the homeland”.
“I do not want to make public all the details of the investigation, but I promise you that in the nearest future the public will learn how people were disappearing and what happened to them. These are very grave cases,” Garibashvili said.
“This is very alarming, when our compatriots were disappearing and their family members are still waiting for them; they believe that their loved ones are alive, although many of them, according to preliminary information, have been liquidated. Of course it requires to be proved and we will do our best to solve these cases,” he said.
“Leaving such grave cases unsolved is inadmissible. We are talking about several hundred people, several hundred, it’s not about one or two persons,” Garibashvili said.
“I do not want to make additional comment before the end of the investigation, but I can confirm that there were cases when people were abducted and killed,” he added.