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The coming of the second Irakli to the banks of the Kura2009-02-26 09:30
Georgia's former defence minister Irakli Okurashvili, who had received political asylum in France, has decided to return to his homeland. His goal is to take an active part in the protest actions planned by the opposition. Georgian political commentators agree that a "heated" spring is on the way.
The regime has deprived the "Movement for a United Georgia", headed by Irakli Okurashvili, of its office, but not of its leader. "The hawk" - that was what Irakli Levanovich was called during his time as defence minister as a result of his scandalous promise to see in the 2007 New Year in Tskhinvali - is returning from enforced emigration. This time he intends to take part in the opposition's decisive battle against his former friend and close political ally, Mikheil Saakashvili.
The secretary-general of the "Movement for a United Georgia", Eka Beselia, confirmed to your GeorgiaTimes correspondent the reports about Okurashvili's intention to return. When? For the moment, this is being kept a closely guarded secret. Since the actions of the authorities are unpredictable. "We're not ruling anything out, they might try and arrest him," thinks Eka Beselia and adds, "he will be in Georgia in the spring because he intends to join the protest actions declared by the opposition."
Beselia, a lawyer by profession, thinks that the Appeals Court will have to change the guilty verdict that was previously reached against Okurashvili. After all, a Paris court deemed that the evidence sent by the Georgian state prosecutor's office to France to confirm the veracity of the charges was insufficient. So in any case the court's decision will have to be re-examined. "Furthermore," thinks Beselia, "when someone has received political asylum, which is a guarantee of his safety, and returns to the country of his own will, he is letting it be known that he did not and does not intend to lie low. And this means that the authorities and the court have no legal argument left by which Irakli should be arrested."
Moreover, in the spring the authorities will, by all accounts, have more to worry about than settling scores with Okurashvili specifically. Many of Saakashvili's former friends and close advisers are going on the attack against him. At the start of this week, the Republicans, the New Right party and a team of rebellious diplomats joined together in the "Alliance for Georgia" and gave Saakashvili just 10 days to make the decision to hold a referendum on early presidential elections. And the former foreign minister Salome Zurabishvili gave Saakashvili up to 9th April, before which Saakashvili must tender his resignation.