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Sunday, 19 August 2018


Burdzhanadze fully armed

2009-03-25 15:10

1/1/5/2115.jpegGeorgia is in the middle of another arms scandal. Over the past half-year since August it is the third one. The first one was connected with arms supplies from Ukraine. Then came ex Prime Minister Zurab Nogaideli with accusations against the head of the state for misappropriation of Defense Ministry funds. Now arms procurement by opposition party Democratic movement - United Georgia chaired by Nino Burdzhanadze is in the focus of attention. There is still some time before April while arms rattling only adds fuel to the fire.


Monday was a hard day with 9 arrests of members of Burdzhanadze's party. No politics. The detainees are charged with storage of arms and negotiation of arms acquisition. The criminal case is initiated for "illegal storage of arms".

The opposition believes nothing will stop the authorities from requalifying this accusation into "preparation of armed rebellion for overthrow of power" - the article that is so dear to them. In 2006 Igor Giorgadze's party members were indicted on this charge.

That is why the opposition was so quick to react. Young members of Democratic movement - United Georgia held a protest action near the building of Interior Ministry's special operations department calling for immediate release of their companions. Georgian non-parliamentary opposition adopted a joint statement about the arrests which was signed by the oppositionists in the office of Georgia's ombudsman. The statement expresses solidarity with the detained activists of Democratic Movement - United Georgia and protest against provocations of the authorities.

The opposition acknowledged the start of repressions. By night the country's major TV channels presented recordings allegedly confirming the fact of arms acquisition by Burdzhanadze's party members. Shota Utisahvili, head of the Analytical Department at the Georgian Interior Ministry, stated: "The incident was politicized that is why we disseminated the recording", - the official specified. Burdzhanadze held an emergency briefing where she was saying about provocations against her and her family being prepared and that the accusations against her supporters were a frame-up. The Interior Ministry in its turn promised to unveil additional facts. So the scandal climax is still ahead.

Nino Burdzhanadze stated she was staying in Georgia. By the way when Nino Anzorovna was in power Tbilisi was full of rumors about Saakashvili blackmailing her. Allegedly in one of the prisons a cell for her father was ready. Before the Rose Revolution her father was president of State Corporation of bread products and was considered one of the "treasurers" of Shevarnadze clan. There was also a cell for her husband Badri Bitsadze who at that time was the head of Frontier Service: it is hard to find a sinless border guard. One way or another Burdzhanadze's husband is again in sight of the authorities. Recently he stated that Interior Minister Vano Merabishvili had advised him to leave the country as there were talks that Bitsadze and ex Defense Minister Tengiz Kitovani were allegedly planning to create armed units. So there is no point in looking for a "Russian trace" within the opposition particularly in terms of Burdzhanadze's party funding which was the subject of a special PR campaign of official Tbilisi for this is where Kitovani has been living for years - in Moscow.

Meanwhile famous politologist Ramaz Sakvarelidze told GHN agency that "the authorities are deliberately aggravating the situation". Why did the authorities choose confrontation and where can it lead to?

GeorgiaTimes observer asked Gogi Khutsishvili, head of International Center for Conflict and Negotiation, to answer this question.

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