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Tuesday, 19 June 2018


Miraculous rescue of Vano Merabishvili

07.05.2009  |  19:56

2643.jpegSuppressing a "mutiny" in Mukhrovani, putting Chairman of the "Generals Club" Koba Kobaladze under arrest, discovering the "espionage activites" of Irakli Maisaya, a military expert - this is an incomplete list of the heroic actions taken by the Georgian law-enforcement authorities within the last two days. Such turbulent events are just inconceivable for the civilized Europe. Still, political surrealism of Georgia becomes more and more evident. It turns out that the attempt upon the life of Vano Merabishvili, Head of MIA, has been prevented the same stormy days in May.


The miraculous rescue of the Grey Eminence, as the mighty Chief Police Officer of Georgia Vano Merabishvili is often called, took place in the context of suppressing the Mukhrovani mutiny and uncovering the anti-State plot. After accusing the members of the "Generals Club" of their cooperation with "the Northern friends" and preparation of a "march on Tbilisi", on the video record revealed by MIA the former member of a special unit Gia Gvaladze gives a detailed list of all Georgian security officials that are said to have agreed to take part in the mutiny. It is said that the mutineers planned to troop to the capital with 5 thousand Russian soldiers joining them on their way. Supposedly, they were to destroy a number of key persons and bring the country back

to the Russian track. The old Georgian generals were announced to act as the mutineers' supporters.

As soon as this "damaging information" was discovered the Chairman of the "Generals Club" Koba Kobaladze was put under arrest. David Tevzadze and Gia Karkarashvili were also mentioned. For instance, Georgian newspaper Version assumed the following course of events on May, 6: "Until yesterday morning, the opposition had been hoping that the Mukhrovani incident would make President Mikhail Saakashvili announce national emergency and suppress the wave of protest. However, this version was not justified. Late at night, as soon as military expert Vakhtang Maisaya was accused of espionage and detained, a rumour was spread that Badri Bitsadze (Nino Burjanadze's spouse) will also be put under arrest, so far as the officers listed by Gvaladze have one thing in common: all of them are the friends of Bitsadze's. The government needed this mess to justify the arrests. On hearsay, Gia Karkarashvili is going to be put under house arrest", - the edition reports.

Was it worth starting a dangerous game like that and implementing the mutiny scenario solely to discredit Burjanadze and put her husband under arrest? Although, logic traditionally keeps silent when power is at stake. Nevertheless, Bitsadze is not yet arrested. As to Gia Karkarashvili, he has held an urgent press-conference and promised to submit records proving that the officers of the Georgian MIA tried to use him for their own purpose and recruit him. "I was visited by agents with orders issued by the management of the MIA Inspectorate General; they offered me various materials and initiatives. I have this fact recorded", - Georgian media are quoting Karkarashvili. Perhaps, his quick reaction and appearance before public saved him from the planned repressions. Who knows for sure? However, the intrigue turned out to be even more complicated.

In the evening of the same day, Georgian MIA reported that the attempt upon the life of the administration head Vano Merabishvili had been prevented and expressed its gratitude to the former Minister of Defense, a representative of the oppositional Republican Party of Georgia, Georgi Karkarashvili for his assistance in preventing the crime. This is stated in a report published on the administration web-site. "Citizen of Georgia Koba Melikidze has been detained with regard to the case of attempting upon the life of the Head of the Georgian MIA. The investigation goes on", - MIA informs. As Shota Utiashvili, Head of the Research and Information Department of MIA, explained to the correspondent of Novosti-Georgia, urgent actions were taken right after Georgi Karkarashvili's statement of the special service agents having tried to recruit him. The oppositionist has not yet commented upon the appreciation expressed by the Georgian security administration.

The whole story with the Mukhrovani plot and the chain of discoveries bears much resemblance to a political detective novel, whose main characters, Saakashvili and Merabishvili and company, are traditional for the today Georgia, fighting against the dark forces of the past and Russia. It was not without reason that the President in his speech in front of the officers on May, 6 drew a parallel between the two incidents that happened on May, 5 in Mukhrovani and the events that took place several years ago in the days of Eduard Shevardnadze's rule.

As Mikhail Saakashvili pointed out, the only difference is that in the days of Shevardnadze it was serving officers who excited a mutiny, while the Mukhrovani incident initiators were the former servicemen dismissed from the Army after the "rose revolution". The president paid special attention to the fact that Shevardnadze's government held long-term negotiations with the mutineers, guaranteed safe conduct, and later on some of them obtained rather high posts. "As for me, I have guaranteed them only one thing: their surrender will be scored as a mitigating circumstance", - Saakashvili declared, underlining that it is law and justice that rule the country nowadays, and any attempt to disrupt the situation will be cut short.

In a word, this is another Saakashvili's demonstration of his remarkable talent of a political script writer and stage director. Besides, he did not miss an opportunity to show that he is not going to follow Shevardnadze and give up his post without striking a blow.


Irina Ptashkovskaya

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