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The opposition does not agree with the conclusions of the commission23.12.2008 | 09:07
The Georgian opposition thinks that the temporary parliamentary commission for studying the August events was only established to tell the people lies and to justify the criminal actions of Saakashvili's government.
"This commission was established out of people who either participated directly in the decision-making and the events themselves, or knew who really started the war. They knew the truth and were meant to tell lies," said one of the leaders of the Georgian Conservative party Kakha Kukava.
That is how he commented on a recording broadcasted on the TV station ‘Kavkasia' showing an unofficial conversation between the chairman of the parliamentary commission Paata Davitaya and a journalist.
On showing this video-clip, spokesmen for the TV station warned that the recording had been made accidentally, that what Davitaya said had not been taken out of context or edited, and that for reasons of journalistic ethics the TV station had no right not to release this footage.
In the conversation with the journalist, Davitaya said that they, of course, had started the war (meaning the Georgian government) and that it was the result of incorrect policies that were carried out over the last few years.
The following day Davitaya himself commented on this video recording and said that his quote had indeed been taken out of context.
"Our conversation was about the entry of our troops into Tskhinvali, and the Georgian president confirmed this fact in his testimony to the commission, which was reflected in the commission's conclusions. It was in this context that I was talking about the start of the war," said Davitaya, but emphasized that Georgia nevertheless waged a defensive war.
He also admitted that just as before he regards the August events as the result of the government's incorrect policies. "Otherwise I would be part of the parliamentary majority," said Davitaya.
Nevertheless, it is clearly stated in the commission's conclusions that "a well planned intervention was carried out by Russia against Georgia," and "the Georgian government did not expect such levels of aggression". The commission's conclusions point to shortcomings in the work of various state structures - the Security Council, the Ministry of Defence, the Foreign Ministry, but nothing is said about the responsibility of specific figures, including the president.
"Davitaya was just a small cog in this great structure of lies that Saakashvili's government has erected. He became a participant in the farce put on by Mikheil Saakashvili and Giga Bokeria," thinks Kakha Kukava.
According to him, the Georgian government has lost trust both within the country and abroad and is making vain attempts to erase what happened between 7th and 9th August from the people's consciousness.
To confirm his argument that the work of the commission was a farce organized with the aim of excusing the Georgian leadership's actions, Kukava referred to the fact that the former foreign minister Ekaterina Tkeshelashvili has been appointed as secretary of the National Security Council, and the former secretary of the Security Council has been sent to work as the UN envoy.
"They have not been called to account, even though the commission's conclusions talk of violations in the work of the Foreign Ministry and the Security Council, rather they have been promoted. That's the absurd thing," noted Kukava.
According to him, society has already given its assessment both of the August events and the work of the commission, and following the departure of the current government it will be a question of honour for Georgian society to establish a genuine commission, which will genuinely investigate what happened and will come to a correct conclusion.
The Georgian parliament approved the conclusions of Paata Davitaya's commission consisting of 200 pages and various photographic and video materials. The only deputy to protest against the contents of the conclusions was Dzhondi Bagaturia, who does not belong to any fraction.
He is not as scathing in his assessments as the non-parliamentary opposition, but he does think that various points are not reflected in the commission's conclusions. Bagaturia found nothing in the conclusions about inexpedient defence expenditure, especially whilst the defence ministry was headed by Irakli Okurashvili. The deputy also thinks that nothing was said in the commission's documents about shortcomings in the rear services of the Georgian army. He describes the most shameful thing in the commission's conclusions as the fact that the Foreign Minister Ekaterina Tkeshelashvili, Security Council secretary Aleksandr Lomaya and the head of Abkhazia's legitimate government Malkhaz Akishbaya have been singled out for blame.