Although a question ‘who started war’ is not appropriate at all, the probe is anyway needed to reveal flaws in the actions of the state agencies in the time of combat operations this August, a parliamentary minority leader, MP Giorgi Targamadze, said on September 18.
Speaking at a parliamentary session on September 18, in response to the President Saakashvili’s annual state of the nation address two days ago, MP Targamadze, who is the leader of Christian-Democratic Party, said he welcomed the President’s readiness to cooperate in investigating the August events. He, however, said a setting up of a parliamentary investigative commission was needed and not simply of a group of rapporteurs in the parliament as proposed by the President.
“Who has launched this war? We do not ask this question,” MP Giorgi Targamadze said. “The war was launched by the Russian Federation 20 years ago… But many mistakes have been done by the Georgian authorities, including underestimation of the Russia’s factor.”
“We have questions, which will be asked during the work of this commission, including, among others, towards the intelligence service [chaired by ex-foreign minister, Gela Bezhuashvili], whether this agency knew or not that the Russian armed forces were preparing the attack.”
“We also wonder how the customs department and the border police acted at that time; as far as we know not all of them acted in good faith,” Targamadze said. The Border Police is chaired by Badri Bitsadze, a husband of ex-parliamentary speaker Nino Burjanadze.
He also criticized the decision the government made years ago to abolish a state reserves agency. MP Giorgi Targamadze said in this context that the authorities had no stockpiles of the most urgent staff to prove internally displaced person in early days of the conflict because of that decision. In these remarks MP Targamadze was apparently attacking Kakha Bendukidze, a former state minister for coordinating economic reforms and now chief of the government’s administration.
A lawmaker from the ruling party, Giorgi Gabashvili, who spoke on behalf of the parliamentary majority, reiterated that the government was ready to answer to all the questions.
He said that the fact how state agencies acted during hostilities would become a matter of special investigation. “Just openness makes us different from our enemies,” he added.