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MIA of Georgia has got drugs and arms at hand2009-06-09 15:58
It looks like Georgia is going to face a new wave of reprisals. Member of Movement for United Georgia Levan Terashvili and Nino Burjanadze's associate Gocha Tsiklauri have been detained on the standard charge addressed to those who must be removed from political horizon. Mikhail Saakashvili's illegal methods of fighting the opponents will soon be considered by Human Rights Court in Strasbourg; a petition to the court was filed by one of the political prisoners, businessman Merab Ratishvili (see photo).
Merab Ratishvili, national of Russia, has been kept prisoner in Georgia since October 2007. His case is quite trivial. The office and the apartment of Ratishvili who was also holding the position of Head of Georgia's National Golf Association have been searched against legal rules, without any witnesses or attorneys. His cash and computers were confiscated without being placed on record. Drugs were supposedly found in the pocket of his jacket. The file was kept on him according to Section 260 of the Georgian Criminal Code: illegal production, acquisition, storage and realization of narcotics.
According to Ratishvili, those accusations have nothing in common with the reasons of his detention. As the prisoner stated to a Russian periodical Moskovski Komsomolets after being arrested, no one asked him during the investigation when, from whom and at what price he had bought the drugs. "Their main purpose was to make me confess that I had acted as a middleman for the Russian special services in order to influence the oppositional leaders. They were to accuse them of being the Russian special services' agents, whose aim was to depose the current government and to suspend the process of the country development", - Ratishvili told. According to the Georgian media, he was "to blacken" Georgi Khaindrava and leader of the Ourselves movement Paata Davitaya.
Merab Ratishvili refused to accept the offered "cooperation" with the law-enforcement authorities. The court sentenced him to nine years of imprisonment.
Why did the lot fell on him during political reprisals several days before the famous break up of the opposition's demonstration on 7 November 2007? Firstly, Merab Ratishvili sponsored one of the political parties, Ourselves, which was part of the oppositional coalition at that time. Secondly, head of the National Golf Association had double citizenship that made him perfectly suitable for discrediting the opposition, which the authorities tried to represent as being sponsored by Russia.
In 2008 the people's defender Sozar Subari announced Merab Ratishvili a political prisoner. His name was entered in the list of political prisoners recently disclosed by the Conservatives of Georgia.