Alia: Philip Dimitrov has no other way but to fulfill UNM instructions

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Photo: eeas.europa.eu

The Georgian newspaper, Alia, carries an article aimed at discrediting the Head of EU Delegation to Georgia, Ambassador Philip Dimitrov. Based on a confidential source, the newspaper writes that Dimitrov is a representative of sexual minority and that the United National Movement (UNM) has been blackmailing him with secretly filmed materials featuring his private life. Referring to a high official, Alia asserts that the UNM and UNM Foreign Relations Secretary Giga Bokeria, personally, threaten the EU Ambassador with the release of secretly filmed video unless he assists the UNM.

According to Alia, Giga Bokeria has threatened Dimitrov with releasing the material if he does not help the UNM in forthcoming local elections.

"Indeed, the UNM has video tapes clearly showing Dimitrov's passions. Naturally, if Bokeria and the people of his ilk go to such extremes as to release everything , that will result in not only discrediting the Ambassador but destroying him once and for all. Bokeria demanded from Dimitrov that he bring such European observers who will write, under Dimitrov's instructions, negative opinions about the trial of Vano Merabishvili and other high-profile court cases of UNM representatives. Giga Bokeria also forces Dimitrov to bring such election observers for the forthcoming local election, who will also write negative opinions [about the conduct of the election]. Because of video secretly filmed by Vano [Merabishvili], Dimitrov experiences constant blackmailing and is unable to utter a word; he has no other way but to fulfill the UNM instructions," Alia's confidential source declares.

It is worth noting that the Prime Minister of Georgia and members of the ruling Georgian Dream coalition treat Alia as a serious newspaper.

Based on the information about the former Defense Minister Davit Kezerashvili published in this very newspaper the Georgian Dream MP Tina Khidasheli called a news briefing on 15 January 2014. She said that Alia published the opinion of audit company, which showed that "virtually from the very moment Kezerashvili left the post of defense minister until the parliamentary elections in [October] 2012, his company, which is registered offshore, had about billion-worth financial turnovers."

On the same day, the Chief prosecutor's Office of Georgia released a statement saying that it will investigate the information about the revenues of the former Defense Minister Davit Kezerashvili, which was published in Alia. According to it, the information reported by Alia contained signs of possible abuse of official power and legalization of illegal revenues.

On the very next day, i.e. 16 January, Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili told journalists that "the information published in Alia was a discovery for him." According to Garibashvili, the government and law enforcement bodies will investigate the information and do everything to "shed light on the fact within the shortest possible time-span."

"The information which the opposition and population alleged during many years has now been confirmed - high UNM officials divided among them, in different ways, and got hold of a significant part of state property, strategic facilities, serious assets," Garibashvili said back then.

Alia published the information about Kezerashvili's revenues based on the audit report by Deloitte. The defense lawyers of Kezerashvili assumed that the newspaper received the Deloitte document from the Georgian government because only the Georgian government and the French court had access to it.

It is also worth noting that the material aimed at discrediting the head of EU Delegation to Georgia Philip Dimitrov was published upon the completion of the visit of EU Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle to Georgia.

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