President Giorgi Margvelashvili (left) and Irakli Alasania (right), ex-defense minister and leader of the Free Democrats party, meet at the presidential palace, November 13, 2014. Photo: president’s office
President Giorgi Margvelashvili met with ex-defense minister Irakli Alasania in the presidential palace on November 13.
“We exchanged our views and assessments about political situation in the country,” said after the meeting Alasania, who is the leader of Free Democrats party, which quit the ruling Georgian Dream coalition after Alasania was sacked from defense minister’s post.
“I had to brief him [the President] about [activities], which were launched in the Ministry of Defense and we expressed hope that all these will continue, because it is related to our main national task to become part of European and Euro-Atlantic space,” Alasania said.
“We also spoke about the need of strengthening of political forces, especially pro-Western political forces, and about the need of strengthening institutions,” he added.
President’s office said that recent developments, including those related to the MoD, were discussed.
“Giorgi Margvelashvili and Irakli Alasania also spoke about the need of strengthening of pro-Western political forces,” the President’s office said.
Irakli Alasania was sacked from the cabinet following his reaction to arrests of MoD and general staff officials, and also to a separate investigation against other army officials, saying that these probes were “politically motivated” and an “attack on Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic choice.” Five MoD and general staff officials are currently in pre-trial detention; they deny charges, involving misspending of GEL 4.1 million in an alleged sham tender last year. The case remains secret as the tender in question was classified as secret by the MoD. Defense lawyers of the arrested MoD officials complain that they are not able to properly study prosecution’s case against their clients as they are denied to obtain copies of the case file on the grounds that it is classified as secret; defense lawyers said that they were instead offered to study the case file at the premises of a detention center or prosecutor’s office, which, they say, is not sufficient to provide a proper defense for their clients.
Alasania said after the meeting with the President that they “expressed hope that trial and investigation will be carried out openly and transparently.”
It has also emerged recently that the prosecutor’s office is also investigating some other MoD-related cases related to the period when Alasania served as the minister.
Earlier on November 13, Alasania told journalists that all these simultaneous investigations aim at “harming the image” of Free Democrats party, “but they will fail to do that.”
“This is not a will of law; this is a will of one man,” Alasania said.