The Chief Prosecutor’s Office said on November 25 that large part of the case against arrested officials from the Ministry of Defense and the general staff of the armed forces was declassified.
Prosecutor’s Office said that only 7% of the case, related to related to sensitive military information, remains classified.
One former and four serving officials from MoD and general staff were arrested on October 28 and charged with misspending of GEL 4.1 million in an alleged sham tender last year on laying fiber-optic cable. The case led to major split within the Georgian Dream (GD) ruling coalition and firing of Defense Minister Irakli Alasania, followed by resignations of his two allies from cabinet posts, as well as to quitting of Alasania’s Free Democrats party from the GD coalition. Alasania said that the investigation against the MoD officials was “politically motivated”, and was insisting on declassifying the case to pave the way for a trial open for the public.
The arrested officials, who remain in pretrial detention, deny charges. The case remained secret as the tender in question was classified as secret by the MoD. Defense lawyers of the arrested MoD officials have been complaining that they were not able to properly study prosecution’s case against their clients as they were denied in obtaining copies of the case file on the grounds that it was classified as secrets.
After the large part of the case was declassified, defense lawyers arrived at the prosecutor’s office to obtained copies of the case. Prosecutor’s office said that lawyers would also be able to study those parts of the case, which remain classified, in the premises of prosecutor’s office without taking copies of those parts of the case outside the premises.
Preliminary court hearing of the case is scheduled for December 11.