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Georgia to start hunting turncoat politicians18.08.2009 | 22:41
A wave of spy scare that covered Georgia can result in a law on lustration which draft is proposed by Georgy Tortladze of the parliamentary minority. However experts are not sure the ruling majority will be in favor of it or find it useful. Director of Center for Strategic Studies Irakli Menagarishvili expresses his opinion for GeorgiaTimes.
More than once did President Mikheil Saakashvili try to figure out "Kremlin agents" among his opponents at the time of protest rallies. All in vain. The president's lawyer will answer for his unfounded accusations against Nino Burdzhanadze in court. Nonetheless, he managed to so to say "muddy the waters" in a number of cases due to phone talk recordings made by Merabishbili's ministry.
In spring a very strange "mutiny" of Georgian militaries in Mukhrovani base was suppressed. Several generals and opposition-minded war expert Vakhtang Maisaya were arrested. Official Tbilisi suspected them of "association with the Russian special services" and "a conspiracy aimed at overthrow of power". The opposition didn't leave the favor unanswered and accused the authorities of aiding Russia though now this version looks quite unreal. It's more likely the country's leadership is working for CIA. Considering today's realities in Georgia Moscow trace is everywhere while criticizing Washington is a mauvais ton.
Another "agent scandal" flared up in July. Georgia denied access to two Russian diplomats on their way to Russian section of the Swiss Embassy in Tbilisi. A suspicion that the officials were allegedly connected with Russian special services was the reason of denial. All these spy campaigns made Georgian society acutely suspicious. Agents seem to be everywhere. That's why it's little wonder the draft law on lustration of ex KGB agents appeared on the agenda.
According to the author of the initiative, Strong Georgia faction chairman Giya Tortladze, the novelty may affect the officials, particularly high-ranking officials. Besides, not only ex security service officers (that are never "ex" in fact) but all former Communist party and Komsomol members. According to Tortladze they still have impact on the Georgian politics. Georgian society, the zealous guardian of Georgian political innocence points out, has been waiting for the lustration law for 17 years. The first draft law was worked out in autumn 2005 by the parliament of previous convocation with the Republican and Conservative parties proposing the initiative. Then Giya Tortladze supported them.
A new version of the law "On recording, voluntary acknowledgment and registration of ex USSR secret service functionaries" is ready and will soon be submitted for consideration in parliament. ‘The document suggests decommunization. Since 1991 the Eastern Europe countries and Baltic stated have adopted the law on lustration that has become a guarantor of democratic development of these states. These examples demonstrate that the way of civilized growth and our country's development require the law on lustration to be adopted", - Tortladze remarked.
"Ex" employees will have to resign voluntarily if their names are in the list determined by the draft law. In case they don't leave their posts peacefully, a special state committee will proclaim their names. The committee will also accept "confessions" of ex KGB officers. They will have to show their hands six months after the law is adopted.
It's costly for the brave to criticize the draft law. For instance, politologist Ramaz Klimiashvili took the liberty of doubting its efficiency and immediately was accused of cooperation with Russian special services. Giya Tortladze stated live on Rustavi-2 that he allegedly had a document proving Ramaz Klimiashviili's nickname was "Sasha". He says the draft law is an irritant not only for the Russian Federal Security Service but for the people that collaborate with this service in Georgia.
Klimiashvili called Tortladze's conclusions "ridiculous". "As seen, I'm in the agent list since I was let out abroad at the time of the Soviet Union only because my wife is an English woman. Then it was believed that the right to go abroad and accommodation were granted to the agents of communist regime only". - he explained. By the way he doesn't answer phone calls from Moscow numbers, Georgia Times found out.
Tortladze himself, as the politologist says, "is hated throughout Georgia" because he is "corrupt". It will be remembered, ex president of Alpinist Federation of Georgia first got into Parliament in 2004 as a member of ruling United National Movement. Then he switched over to the opposition. At first he was a member of Salome Zurabishvili's Way of Georgia, then - a member of Irakli Okruashvili's Movement for United Georgia.
After parliamentary election of May 21 2008 he was one of the few oppositionists who kept their mandates. Over the recent months Tortladze has been stating he is "in constructive opposition to the authorities pursuing struggle for justice and legality from the inside - from parliament".