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Militaries to be fined for “lack of patriotism”27.08.2009 | 15:27
Georgian Ministry of Defense filed a lawsuit against hundreds of ex-servicemen deciding to bring to account all those who cancelled the contract after last year's August events. And there are a lot of them - nearly a thousand people. Now they pay either for their "lack of patriotism" or because of the rampant crisis. Apparently there are no other methods of "money extraction" from the population. The experts and rights defenders are at a loss expressing their position to GeorgiaTimes correspondent.
In view of violation of provisions stipulated in the contract Georgian Ministry of Defense filed a charge against hundreds of ex servicemen. This is what the statement of the Human Rights Center runs according to GHN's recent report.
The agency reports on the Defense Ministry's call on every ex serviceman to pay a GEL 30-40 thousand fine.
Already today the Georgian media presented several versions of the situation. As VZGLYAD writes with reference to Resonansi newspaper in case of early termination of the contract a serviceman shall pay GEL 15 thousand (nearly USD 9 thousand) and the sum doubles or gets even bigger for late payment. In case of nonpayment servicemen are subject to trial and a long prison term.
During hostilities in South Ossetia the militaries abandoned the battlefield with the lack of due organization and though they came back to their cantonment areas, they were considered deserters. This was the reason why numerous contracts were terminated beforehand. The Georgian Ministry of Defense refrains from comments.
Other Georgian media write about one thousand servicemen. Isn't such pressure on ex militaries fraught with a new outburst of discontent in the acting army? The echo of bizarre Mukhrovani mutiny is still tailing off with Russia traditionally blamed for its initiation.
As GeorgiaTimes wrote on May 5 the command of the armored cavalry battalion stationed in Mukhrovani locality declared disobedience to the authorities. Negotiations with the rebellious militaries went on for 4 hours ending in all military personnel laying down arms. The Georgian Interior Ministry announced exposure of the plot. President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili took part in the negotiations. According to official information 33 persons were detained, one died during the special operation. 12 detainees are civilians, 20 are militaries. Later the number of the accused rose to 41. Most part of the suspects, with ex top ranking officials among them, were detained on May 5.
Recently the trial of the accused in the Mukrovani military mutiny was postponed till September 1.
The opposition immediately called the Mukhrovani mutiny a show staged by Saakashvili and Interior Minister Merabishvili. The purpose of it was to discredit top army command of Shevarnadze's epoch known as "the Club of Generals". Besides many club members are friends of ex head of border police Badri Bitsadze, husband of Nino Burdzhanadze, a prominent oppositionist. That is why in reply to the actions of authorities retired officers and war veterans announced establishment of the Committee on Protection of Honor of Georgian Army.
Now not ex generals but ex servicemen are brought to legal responsibility. Will ex servicemen be able to pay draconian penalties? How lawful are such methods of struggle against the so-called "objectors"? GeorgiaTimes correspondent asked Georgian experts to answer these questions.
Military expert Giya Melitauri said that a signed contract naturally stipulates obligations to be performed after the contract termination. There are penal sanctions in case of termination. However the expert remarks that the indicated figures are too high for citizens of Georgia who are unable to pay them. Militauri believes the authorities won't aggravate this issue further on and the excitement will subside. "Most probably it was proposed by some zealous official who decided to seek favor with the leaders", - our interlocutor remarked.
To the question whether the number of servicemen that left the army was really so high the expert said the army circles were seriously discontent with the actions of the country's leadership. The Mukhrovani mutiny is confirming that. The chaos among the leaders, Militauri says, didn't allow militaries to do their duty. After the end of the hostilities many decided to change their vocation.
Liya Khuroshvili, a lawyer, calls provisions stipulated in the contract between the Ministry of Defense and militaries slavish. "The contract contains provisions that are purely discriminatory and in contradiction to the current legislation. For instance, clause 73 of the contract stipulates a very high penalty in case of violation of the contract provisions. The same article stipulates that at the time of examination of disputes the sums indicated in the article won't be subject to any dispute, and no dispute will arise out of these sums", - the lawyer is quoted by GHN.