About Civil.ge
Eng | Geo | Rus
Last updated: 10:55 - 1 May.'18
RSS
Mobile
Twitter
Facebook
Prison Minister Denies Merabishvili's Allegations as 'Utterly False'
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 18 Dec.'13 / 19:39

Former interior minister Vano Merabishvili’s claim that he was taken out of his prison cell and driven for a meeting with chief prosecutor is “utterly false”, minister in charge of the penitentiary system, Sozar Subari, said on December 18.

Merabishvili, who is now in pre-trial detention, said at a court hearing in Kutaisi on December 17 that chief prosecutor, Otar Partskhaladze, told him to help solve the case of death of PM Zurab Zhvania and to provide information about ex-president Mikheil Saakashvili’s “bank accounts”, otherwise threatened with deterioration of his condition in prison and with the arrest of his friends and relatives. Merabishvili said that at about 1:30am on December 14 he was taken out of his prison cell with his head shrouded in his jacket and driven to a location, which he thinks was the office of department of penitentiary system, where the meeting with the chief prosecutor took place.

“Vano Merabishvili was not taken out [of prison],” Subari said, adding that over the weekend he met for several times with his lawyers and he would have announced about his claims much earlier if he had really been taken out of his prison cell.

UNM opposition party in which Merabishvili formally retains the post of secretary general has called on the authorities to launch the investigation into Merabishvili’s claims and the latter’s lawyers have requested the authorities to make available recordings of the prison surveillance cameras. There have also been calls for a probe from number of rights groups. UNM is also calling for setting up of a parliamentary ad hoc commission to probe into the case.

Although several of senior lawmakers from the GD parliamentary majority group, as well as Justice Minister Tea Tsulukiani said that they are absolutely sure that Merabishvili’s claims are “false”, the probe should anyway be carried out.

But minister for penitentiary system, Sozar Subari, suggested that no probe was needed because the allegation itself was “unserious.”

“No investigation is being launched into unserious issue,” he said and on a question about recordings from the surveillance cameras added: “If the investigation is opened, [investigators] will gain [access to] the recording, otherwise no one has the right to [review] recordings.”

UNM party said on December 18 that Subari’s remarks suggest that the authorities do not intend to investigate the case and instead decided “to go down the path of covering up the crime collectively.”

UNM lawmaker Irma Nadirashvili alleged on December 18 that the authorities had already “deleted” recordings from the surveillance cameras in an attempt to cover up their wrongdoing.

PM Garibashvili said on December 18 that Merabishvili’s allegations aim at “discrediting” the government. He then again reiterated his December 17 remarks and said that Merabishvili apparently “panicked” after the arrest of Koba Kharshiladze. This latter was arrested on December 16 and charged with illegal entrepreneurship and money laundering while serving as deputy head of one of the Tbilisi’s districts. Kharshiladze was chief bodyguard of PM Zurab Zhvania at the time when the latter was found dead in February, 2005. Arrest of Kharshiladze, although in connection to the case which has nothing to do with Zhvania’s case, triggered speculation that it might be somehow related to the ongoing investigation into Zhvania’s death, which was re-opened after the Georgian Dream came into power late last year.

“We have no time for and we cannot afford reacting on Merabishvili’s allegations and suspending ministers and prosecutors from their offices upon [Merabishvili’s] allegations. We have more important work to do,” Garibashvili said.

Latest News
01 May.'18 10:55
We Have Moved to a New Platform
Direct Your Bookmarks to https://civil.ge.
29 Apr.'18 03:54
Ruling Party Candidate Wins MP By-Elections
Givi Chichinadze will represent Vani and Khoni single-mandate constituency in the Parliament of Georgia.
28 Apr.'18 09:40
Polls Open for Vani and Khoni MP By-Elections
48,123 voters are eligible to cast their ballots in Vani and Khoni single-mandate constituency.
27 Apr.'18 17:23
State Dept’s Europe Affairs Point Man to Visit Tbilisi
Wess Mitchell will meet senior government officials and address the NATO-Georgia Public Diplomacy Forum.
27 Apr.'18 13:45
In Quotes: Georgian Politicians on Ex-PM Bidzina Ivanishvili’s Comeback
Bidzina Ivanishvili will be approved as the Georgian Dream party chairman at the upcoming convention.
26 Apr.'18 18:15
SG Jens Stoltenberg: Georgia NATO’s ‘Very Close’ Partner
The NATO Secretary General says Foreign Ministers meeting tomorrow will recognize the country’s progress.
26 Apr.'18 14:24
Ex-PM Ivanishvili to Chair Georgian Dream Party
Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili said Ivanishvili was ‘best equipped’ to add new dynamism to the party.
26 Apr.'18 11:12
Lawmaker Proposes Criminal Liability for ‘Insult of Religious Feelings’
The parliamentary human rights committee decided to set up a working group for scrutinizing the draft law.
25 Apr.'18 17:21
New Abkhaz Government Head Appointed
Gennady Gagulia has served as the Abkhaz “prime minister” twice - in 1995-1997, and 2002-2003.
25 Apr.'18 14:43
Watchdog Improves Georgia’s Press Freedom Ranking
None of the countries of the former Soviet Union (except the Baltics) are ranked ahead of Georgia.

About Civil Georgia
Civil.Ge © 2001-2019, Daily News Online
Registered office: 2 Dolidze Str, 4-th Floor.
53