Public Defender, Ucha Nanuashvili, met in prison ex-interior minister Vano Merabishvili, who is now in pre-trial detention and who claims that he was threatened personally by chief prosecutor to testify against former president Mikheil Saakashvili and to help prosecutors in solving the case of PM Zurab Zhvania’s death.
Nanuashvili told journalists after the meeting late on Wednesday evening that he heard from Merabishvili detailed account of his allegations.
“Investigation should definitely be launched in order to provide answers to all the questions,” Nanuashvili said. “More this process is delayed and dragged out, more questions will arise. Any allegation of pressure should be investigated, otherwise it will trigger more questions in the public.”
Merabishvili said at a court hearing in Kutaisi on December 17 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.
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 on December 18 that no probe was needed because the allegation itself was “unserious.”