Ivanishvili: Questions will necessarily be put to Bokeria

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In an interview to Resume TV program on 4 June, Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili commented on a recent Washington Post publication [the letter of the editorial board, "Georgia's Democracy in Peril"] criticizing the current developments in Georgia and said that the Washington Post draws such conclusions only based on statements made by lobbyists of Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili. These are the lobbyists, Ivanishvili went on, that were financed from the state budget. Only in 2012, more than 16 million GEL were spent on them and those expenditures were classified, he added.

"The case has been transferred to the prosecutor's office and the investigation into these issues is in progress, because there are 200 000, 300 000, 400 000 [GEL] paid in cash," said Prime Minister. In response to a journalist's question whether Giga Bokeria, the Secretary of the National Security Council of Georgia (NSC), may be held responsible, Ivanishvili said that all that was performed through the agency of Giga Bokeria. "Of course, there are questions to him. I would refrain from saying more than that. Questions will necessarily be. He will have to answer to the investigation if the investigation has questions to him and also answer to the society. I have already declared that publicly many times," Ivanishvili noted. According to him, the new government also spends money on lobbying firms but that process is transparent.

Prime minister also noted that Bokeria's visit to the United States preceded the publication of the letter in the Washington Post.

In the interview to the Resume TV program, Bidzina Ivanishvili commented on Giga Bokeria's statement too. On 3 June, Bokeria said that "formally and actually, the president calls an NSC meeting, but for such a meeting to make sense and to be held, after all, there must be the readiness on the part of prime minister. The objective is not to conduct a circus – I call a meeting but someone is busy to attend it. As far as I am aware, prime minister's attitude towards this issue was negative. If he has changed that attitude and will find time to discuss such issues, it will be good. However, we have not heard such a response and the statements of that kind [about the need to call an NSC meeting] made by separate MPs cannot be regarded as the response of prime minister."

Ivanishvili said he has nothing to say to that. "Let them instead of waiting for my instructions act as they are required by the constitution and the law. It does not matter what my position is; they are to perform what their task is," noted Ivanishvili. According to prime minister, the NSC has not called a meeting over the period of past eight moths and he does not know why the NSC is paid salaries for.

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