Defence Ministry officials case

Alasania: Prosecutor's Office steps attack on Georgia's Euro-Atlantic choice

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Defence Minister of Georgia, Irakli Alasania said on 4 November that "political motives are clearly seen in the Prosecutor's Office steps." Speaking at a special briefing, Alasania pointed out that detention of the Defence Ministry high-rank employees and the heads of the medical services creates doubts that "we are facing a deliberate attack against the Defence Ministry, which is a direct link to our country's connection to NATO and EU." According to Alasania, he will appeal the Georgian Dream Coalition political council on Wednesday to "let's gather and open a discussion about where the Prosecutor's Office is taking the case and this country."

"When the Defence Minister was in France and Germany to meet his counterparts and the negotiations were underway to enhance defence capabilities, the Prosecutor's Office detained the Ministry's high-rank officials. Today, when the Chief of General Staff, general Kapanadze is in Washington to meet his US counterpart, the detentions continue and the heads of our medical services were detained. We have never said that someone should hinder the investigation, but during these recent days we had a doubt on what was the ground for these people to be in the prison, they were not running away and rather high-rank officials were the guarantors," Alasania said, adding that "this is an attack on Georgia's Euro-Atlantic choice. This is an attack on the structure which is outstanding with its successful reforms, which is outstanding on the way to achieving foreign political goals."

The Defence Minister said "I know very well where I come from." According to Alasania "neither Prosecutor's Office, nor the dirt that some media representatives are throwing will scare me. I promise to the Georgian society that we will finish the work started after winning the 2012 elections and we will be faithful to the ideals for which we won together with the society. Now it is important to stay calm, to be wise and firmly continue fighting for Georgia's political future. I will not answer the questions, this was a political statement and I will tell you the rest in the future," Alasania said.

The Chief Prosecutor's Office charged Defence Ministry employees in the case of the poisoning of soldiers. Earlier, 5 high-rank officials of the Ministry were detained on charges of embezzlement of over GEL 4 million. Deputy Defence Minister, Aleksi Batiashvili was questioned as a witness.

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