About Civil.ge
Eng | Geo | Rus
Last updated: 18:36 - 24 Aug.'16
RSS
Mobile
Twitter
Facebook
Okruashvili Arrested After Return to Georgia
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 20 Nov.'12 / 13:24

Irakli Okruashvili, former defense minister who was in exile since late 2007 and who faces multiple criminal charges in Georgia, was arrested upon arrival in the Tbilisi airport, the Georgian Interior Ministry said on November 20.

Okruashvili, who was one of the most influential government members and President Saakashvili’s close ally before quitting the cabinet in November 2006, was arrested just two days after he leveled serious allegations against President Saakashvili and announced about setting up of an opposition party in late September, 2007.

At that time he was charged with large scale extortion; less than two weeks after he was arrested, Okruashvili pleaded guilty, retracted his allegations leveled against Saakashvili and was released on bail; he then left the country in what his supporters said was expulsion by the authorities.

In March, 2008 court in Georgia found Okruashvili guilty of “large-scale extortion” and sentenced him to 11 years in prison in absentia; a month later Okruashvili was granted asylum in France.

While remaining in France, Okruashvili re-emerged actively in Georgia’s political developments in spring 2011 when his party joined briefly ex-parliamentary speaker Nino Burjanadze-backed street protest rallies but the alliance was short-lived. At the time the authorities filed new charges against Okruashvili related to alleged armed group.

Hours before Okruashvili’s arrival to Georgia, the parliamentary committee for human rights passed a draft resolution recognizing 184 persons as “political prisoners” and 22 others as being “in political exile”; Okruashvili is among those 22 persons. The draft resolution, after it will be passed by the parliament, will allow those in the list to return back to Georgia without being arrested and to prove their case before the court.

Georgian Justice Minister, Tea Tsulukiani, said on November 20, that she shared the view that Okruashvili “was subjected to politically-motivated persecution by the [previous] authorities.”

“But it does not automatically mean that he is innocent in those criminal charges that he may face; it requires investigation,” Tsulukiani told journalists. “There are number of criminal charges brought against him and the most recent one is related to setting up of illegal armed groups and that is related to the events of May, 2011 [during street protest rallies]. It requires further probe and I think that Okruashvili returned in order to prove his truth.”

Court hearing into Okruashvili’s case related to alleged illegal armed group is scheduled for late afternoon on November 20.

Okruashvili told Georgian news agency, InterPressNews, whose reporter visited ex-defense minister in prison facility on November 20, that although knowing that he would be arrested, he still returned in order to prove his innocence in the court. He said that all the charges against him were fabricated by the previous authorities.

Latest News
24 Aug.'16 18:36
NATO NAC to Visit Georgia on Sept.7-8
It will be the fourth visit of ambassadors from NATO member-states to Georgia.
24 Aug.'16 15:05
PM Vows to Renew Push for Defining Marriage in Constitution After Elections
He spoke about President’s decision to block referendum on the issue at a government session.
23 Aug.'16 15:31
7 Men Sent to Pretrial Detention in Case of Alleged Foiled Attack on Gas Pipeline
All of the arrested men, but one, deny charges, which range from plotting a terrorist act to not reporting crime.
22 Aug.'16 17:17
Security Service Says ‘Terrorist Act’, Targeting Gas Pipeline, Foiled
PM Kvirikashvili said that “a huge disaster” has been prevented.
22 Aug.'16 01:12
GDDG Replaces Majoritarian MP Candidate in Khobi
MP Bukia decided to withdraw from race less than a month after he was named as a candidate.
21 Aug.'16 23:51
Georgia Finishes Rio Olympics with 7 Medals
With 2 gold, 1 silver and 4 bronze medals, Georgia finished 38th in the medal table.
21 Aug.'16 01:47
Georgia Takes Olympic Bronze in Freestyle Wrestling
Petriashvili captured Georgia’s 7th medal of Rio 2016 after winning bronze in freestyle 125 kg wrestling.
20 Aug.'16 14:57
Turkish Navy Ship Joins Search for Two Georgian Army Servicemen Off Adjara Coast
Servicemen of special operations forces are missing since Aug16, when they were diving during training
20 Aug.'16 00:35
Georgia Wins Olympic Gold in Freestyle Wrestling
Khinchegashvili gave Georgia its second gold of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
19 Aug.'16 16:23
Local By-Elections for Gamgebeli and Mayor in Six Localities Set for Oct.8
Offices became vacant after GDDG named incumbents as its majoritarian MP candidates.

About Civil Georgia
Civil.Ge © 2001-2016, Daily News Online
Registered office: 2 Dolidze Str, 4-th Floor.
48