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Greediness turns Saakashvili into an anti-Semite2011-03-18 18:11
Georgian authorities love highlighting their role as implacable fighters against corruption. Still, judging by the story with the Israeli businessman, this fight is more like liquidation of competitors with the help of false accusations. The arrest of Fuks and Frenkel, two entrepreneurs, is gradually turning into a Dreyfus Case. The story has already caused aggravation in Tbilisi-Tel-Aviv relations forcing the Labor Party to accuse Saakashvili of anti-Semitism, realizing that the lawsuit brings shame on the country. Now the National Council is ready to bail the arrested businessmen out.
Comparing the lawsuit over Roni Fuks and Zeeva Frenkel accused of attempting to offer a USD 7 mln to deputy finance minister Avtandil Kharaidze with the notorious Dreyfus case sounds justified. The lawsuit revealed that the Georgian side had staged talks between the Israelites and the official. The key evidence, the video of the conversation on which incrimination is based is a professionally directed fake.
"The statement presented by Ben Hanson, an English expert, proves the fact that the video made in Turkey where the agreement on bribe was reached, was not made by a deputy minister receiving the bribe, but by a professional camera man", - Archil Kbilashvili, a lawyer, told Trend agency (Azerbaijan). This should have been expected since the motives of Israelite entrepreneurs trying to offer a bribe, as the inquest suggests, are beyond any criticism. Why should they pay USD 7 mln for revocation of an appeal in Georgia after they won a lawsuit? After winning in one international instance were they afraid to lose in another? It is highly dubious. Meanwhile, the Georgian government's reluctance to pay USD 100 mln to the claimants under the verdict of the international court for illegal cancellation of the oil exploration license owned by Fuks and Frenkel is obvious. To avoid that, "corruption fighters" from Tbilisi resorted to fabrication of a criminal case. The only trouble is that the accused are citizens of a foreign state that has most powerful levers of influence in Washington.
Because of the Fuks Case speaker of Georgian parliament David Bakradze had to cancel his visit to Israel. Explaining refusal to see the Georgian parliamentarian in the Promised Land Knesset chair Riven Rievlin remarked that the lawsuit involving two compatriots in Tbilisi "concerns a lot of citizens of Israel" and that public pressure on the issue had made him realize that "this time is not good for an official visit to Israel". Deterioration of relations with Tel-Aviv was acknowledged by Georgian FM Grigol Vashadze.