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Dato Shengelia is back to service?2013-02-19 15:44
Dato Shengelia is former commander of the Georgian armed formation "Forest Brothers", known in Georgian society as a leader of the guerrillas, was appointed to the Ministry of Defense of Georgia to a still unknown position. Why does the Defense Ministry need to take into its ranks the people with such a controversial reputation?
The people are composing legends about Dato Shengelia. His name has shrouded in mystery to this day. He was called a Robin Hood and a usual looter. They said he was responsible for smuggling in the Georgian-Abkhaz border.
Among other things, Shengelia threatened to arrange an attack against train "Sochi-Sukhum". Fighters of his unit are considered guilty of the death of the staff of the Abkhaz law enforcement agencies, as well as Russian peacekeepers and civilians. In Moscow and Sukhum claimed that his activities have been coordinated by the Georgian power structures.
During the reign of Mikheil Saakashvili, he was among the undesirable persons. First, his unit was declared outlawed, and in 2006, Shengelia was arrested and sentenced to 24 years in prison for illegal possession of arms and drug trafficking. However, 4 years later, he was released early for health reasons.
After the release of Shengelia, authorities of Abkhazia demanded his extradition from Georgia (Sukhum suspected the former commander of returning to his previous activity and began to organize attacks on Abkhazian security forces). Tbilisi has refused. The Georgian Interior Ministry also denied the fact that Shengelia had been cooperating with the Georgian security forces.
What can the appointment of a man with such a controversial reputation to a responsible position in the Ministry of Defense mean? And what is the mysterious position?
Political analyst Soso Tsiskarishvili told GTimes he was mildly surprised at the news. And even before he has formed his own opinion on the matter, he would like to hear the official opinion, at least from the press secretary of the Ministry of Defense.
"I think they must explain this strange decision. They will have to answer a lot of questions. If today were April 1, I would say that it's not really good joke", said the expert.