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Okruashvili’s party has no HQ meaning that…

19.01.2009  |  22:33

3/6/9/1369.jpegLast week the Tbilisi city court officially expropriated Irakli Okruashvili's oppositional party "Movement for United Georgia" headquarters meeting the prosecution's demand to transfer title to this building to the state.

Representatives of Georgian Themis believe that the office of "Movement for United Georgia" was acquired with criminal money.


In September 2007 the Prosecutor General's Office initiated a criminal case against ex Defense Minister Irakli Okruashvili, now an oppositionist, on four Criminal Code articles: blackmail, money laundering, abuse of power and official negligence. It all took place following his scandalous accusations (in 2006) against president Saakashvili and his teammates of anti-state activity and contract murders. The facts were as follows. When Okruashvili was at the head of the Interior Ministry of Georgia in 2004 he caught Saakashvili's uncle - Temur Alasania - accepting bribes in the amount of 200 thousand dollars but released him on "president's imperative request". Ex minister also asserted that Saakahvili had made numerous attempts at ordering him to kill

influential persons including Badri Patarkatsishvili.

For these exposures Okruashvili was arrested but released on bail (enormous for Georgia - 10 mln lari (USD 6 mln)) under recognizance not to leave. However he left Georgia and obtained a political asylum in France.

Before the start of confrontation with the president Irakli Okruashvili was one of the hawks notorious for his scandalous statements: he promised to celebrate 2007 new year in Tskhinval; on taking the Russian market from Georgian winemakers he sniped that Russians would drink even dirt. And now as the leader of the "Movement for United Georgia" he speaks for change of power in the country.

Recently this party called on all oppositional forces to get united in order to demand immediate resignation of President Mikheil Saakashvili. Some politicians see a direct link to the expropriation of the HQ here. For example laborists acknowledge that the judgment of the court is against oppositional politicians confirming that the authorities make use of all possible methods in their struggle.

As the party's Secretary General Eka Beselia believes the court made a political decision. In her interview with our observer she pointed out that she was going to appeal to the Supreme Court. And then most probably to the Strasburg Court of Human Rights. "The party's HQ case will be added to Irakli Okruashvili's claim on political persecution against him that has already been submitted to the Strasburg Court", - Eka Beselia said.

By the way the "Movement for United Georgia" Secretary General's profession is an attorney. She ascertains it will be easy for her to prove the illegality of the verdict taken by the Tbilisi city court. "The point is that the charges of corruption and misappropriation of funds by Irakli Okruashvili have not been proved yet. Then how could the court conclude that the office had been bought with illegal money?" - She wonders.

It is notable that in accusing the state authorities of dictatorship all oppositional parties of Georgia without exception come forward with a major demand to create a judicial system independent of other authority branches.

Irina Ptashkovskaya


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