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The “improper” behavior of Saakashvili’s2009-05-20 23:57
President of Georgia is treated differently: for some people he is an assiduous democratic reformer, while others treat him as a dictator and a satrap. However, the president undoubtedly possesses one peculiar quality. He is able to turn his friends into enemies and partners into competitors. Almost all of the current oppositional leaders are former president's associates. Now Saakashvili has come to confrontation with the military, having made an enemy of a criminal "authority" Bondo Shalikiani, also a former associate of the president's.
They say that you will never have a dull moment in Georgia. This was confirmed by President Saakashvili at his meeting with the parliamentary majority. This time, Mikhail Nikolaevitch started speaking about the radical opposition's methods. According to the Georgian media, he has specially noted that the country government might be criticized for many failures, however, it would not be enough for the oppositional groups and they would throw mud at the authorities.
The blame for such sins was cast upon Bondo Shalikiani, a well-known person in the criminal circles and a former associate of the president's. In the opinion of Saakashvili, he is one of the opposition's active sponsors.
According to newspaper VZGLYAD, Bondo Shalikiani answered back, calling Mikhail Saakashvili a "deadly enemy". Shalikiani has made a statement to the media that he would no longer put up with the pursuit on the part of the current government. He also claimed the Georgian authorities to have illegally deprived him of his property to the amount of over 100 mln lari (this approximately equals 60 mln dollars).
One should also notice the fact that the name of Bondo Shaliakani does not convey much for the majority of the Georgians. A scandal associated with his name broke out in 2004, when 18 criminal "authorities" were arrested by police and the forces of the State Security Ministry. Among them was the member of the Georgian parliament, the most "respected" man in Kutaisi Bondo Shalikiani. Two Kalashnikov guns and other weapons were found in this house. A much publicized case followed, however, no one has put a question of how this man became a member of parliament.
After a while, Shalikiani made a revelatory statement that Saakashvili has used criminal money to come to power. According to the media, Bondo claimed to have transferred a half-million dollars to Saakashvili's accounts in 2003, and this had been requested by one the most powerful mafia bosses Tariel Oniani. Shalikiani also claims to possess a written document confirming the payment.
"When Vano Merabishvili and Mikhail Saakashvili needed me, I was a respectable man and a successful businessman for them, - Bondo Shalikiani has told. - But as soon as they made use of me they've stiffed me and deceived into parting with money. They called me a criminal, took away my parliamentary mandate and put under arrest. In fact, they held me hostage in order to snatch away my multimillion assets and property".