Badri Patarkatsishvili, a business tycoon, whom the ruling party accuses of “plotting intrigues” against the state, arrived back in Tbilisi from London on October 9.
He told his television station, Imedi TV, upon arrival that information “that I had fled the country is totally false.”
Rustavi 2 TV, which is seen to be pro-government, reported on October 8 that Patarkatsishvili had fled the country to London shortly after Okruashvili’s taped testimony was released on October 8.
In the taped video testimony released by the General Prosecutor’s Office on October 8, Okruashvili retracted his accusations against President Saakashvili of plotting to murder of Patarkatsishvili and said that his accusation aimed at “gaining political dividends” both for him and Patarkatsishvili.
“Our flight to London was delayed yesterday and the air navigation service said that there had been an overflight from Russia to Armenia of an aircraft carrying some kind of hazardous material,” Patarkatsishvili told Imedi TV. “However, at the same time, a British Airways flight was coming in. So it is obvious that the reason cited [by the air navigation service] was not the real reason behind the delay of our flight.”
The head of the air navigation service, Giorgi Karbelashvili, confirmed on October 9 that Patarkatsishvili private jet had been scheduled to take off from Tbilisi airport at 11 am on October 8 but the flight was delayed for unspecified reasons. The jet took off at 2 pm, just as news of Okruashvili’s testimony broke.
Patarkatsishvili also welcomed Okruashvili's release on bail.
“This has happened thanks to the people who have been demanding his release,” Patarkatsishvili added.
He said that he would comment on recent developments later.
“All I want to say now concerns that kid who was showing everyone some paintings,” Patarkatsishvili said, referring to a lawmaker from the ruling party, Davit Kirkitadze, who distributed among journalists yesterday a cartoon depicting opposition politicians sheltering under Patarkatsishvili's bushy moustache.
“Son – I do not mean to insult you when I refer to you in this way, I do not even know your name – but you should consult your elders before doing things like this, or they may get angry with you,” Patarkatsishvili said.