Georgian soldier Giorgi Tsertsvadze, who fought in the war with Abkhazia and the 2008 Georgia-Russian War, has been detained in Kyiv at Moscow’s request.
According to Rustavi 2, Russia acquired information on Tsertsvadze either from the Georgian Ministry of Internal Affairs or the House of Justice.
Russia brought murder charges against him in 2003, however an international warrant for his arrest was issued only in 2016.
Member of the parliamentary minority Otar Kakhidze blames the government of Georgia for releasing information on the soldier, which he claims is a betrayal of state interests, including those of other soldiers and citizens.
“There’s no such country that gives out information on its own citizens to their enemies”, he told Tabula in an interview.
According to United National Movement representative Khatia Dekanoidze, the Georgian government should have warned the Georgian soldier regarding the Russian charges against him.
“The Georgian government is using tricks, as they can’t directly pass the soldiers on to Russia. They didn’t warn soldiers that there are criminal charges against them in Russia. Vice Colonel Tsertsvadze left the territory of Georgia and he was arrested in Ukraine. This is a very evil trick, which is being implemented against our soldiers”, says Dekanodzie.
UNM representatives say that they have a specific plan on “how to avoid cooperation with Russia in Tsertvadze’s case and in the future as well”.
The plan includes the full political and legal support of Tsertsvadze in both Georgia and in Ukraine. In addition to that, the party condemned the handing over of Georgian soldiers to Russia.
The party plans to address the Ukrainian embassy in Georgia with a statement.
Member of the parliamentary majority, Dimitri Kutsnashvili commented that “even though we don’t have diplomatic relations [with Russia] I think that justice should be implemented on the highest level of such a crime. . .I don’t know exactly what Gia Tsertsvadze is charged with. Fighting in Abkhazia or Ukraine shouldn’t be used as a reason to prosecute him. . . I think we should cooperate in this homicide case”.
The party plans to organise a protest demonstration in order to inform international that the government of Georgia supports the prosecution and extradition of its own citizens. The UNM also expressed its intentions to demand the creation of an investigative commission, which would work on such cases.
The Ministry of Justice said that they did not have any connection to Giorgi Tsertsvadze’s case, whereas the Ministry of Intermal Affairs said that they would make an official statement later.