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The last of Saakashvili’s closest allies are leaving him2008-11-27 18:12
Yesterday the revelations of Georgia's former ambassador to Russia Erosi Kitsmarishvili to the temporary parliamentary commission investigating the August events provoked another theory into Georgia's most recent history. He accused Saakashvili of instigating this escapade, and also claimed that it was even being planned several years ago.
The chair of the commission responded by promising to launch criminal proceedings against the rebel. But not at all for his exposure of the head of state. Rather... for negligence shown during his time as a diplomat. The ambassador allegedly concealed information which he had a duty to pass on to his Interior Ministry.
In turn, Kitsmarishvili gave assurances that he would take the country's leadership to court for the expropriation of property. And he said why: Saakashvili personally took away his share in the television company ‘Rustavi-2'.
It can be claimed that the president's former closest allies are deserting him. The interests of Saakashvili's team and that of the now deceased prime minister Zurab Zhvania (who died in 2005 in circumstances which have yet to fully established) have collided head on.
It was Erosi Kitsmarishvili who initiated this clash. Just like Mikheil Saakashvili, he himself volunteered to give evidence to the temporary commission. Until yesterday no-one expected any sensations to result from its investigation. The Georgian parliament is not the Ukrainian Rada and, unlike his good friend Yushchenko, Mikheil Nikolaevich is on quite good terms with the deputies. So it comes as no surprise that the results of the initial hearings merely confirmed the president's line: "Georgia was forced to reply to aggression from Russia". Even Brigadier General Mamuka Kurashvili, who gave the order for the Georgian troops to launch the operation and was one of the first to appear before the commission, tried to protect the Supreme Commander-in-Chief as much as he could. "I did not receive any instructions from my superiors. And actually, I had injuries relating to shock at the time," he said. But even as quiet a harbour as the parliamentary investigatory commission has failed to avoid a storm...
Now Erosi Kitsmarishvili is the protagonist of the Georgian, Russian and Western media. His testimony has been broken up into memorable quotes: "Mikheil Saakashvili was personally to blame for unleashing the war in August 2008", "He began to actively prepare for a war in Abkhazia as far back as a year ago", "The West gave Saakashvili the green light", and "Georgia could have prevented the August events, but it acted ‘senselessly' over South Ossetia".
The parliamentary majority reacted appropriately and in the best traditions of the "young reformers". The chair of the committee on defense and national security Georgy Targamadze tried to shut Kitsmarishvili's mouth. In the literal sense, physically. Colleagues stopped him from launching a fist fight. Targamadze had time merely to fling a pen at his rival.
Now Kitsmarishvili, along with other opponents of Saakashvili's regime, are clearly being deemed "Kremlin agents". This is entirely predictable, contrary to the very unpredictability that was mentioned earlier. After all, practically everyone who has dared to show any dissent is suspected of spying for Russia.