About Civil.ge
Eng | Geo | Rus
Last updated: 21:52 - 27 Apr.'15
 
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
27 Apr.'15 21:52
Healthcare Ministers of Georgia, Ukraine Meet in Kiev
Sergeenko is in Kiev for participation in the International Support for Ukraine Conference.
27 Apr.'15 17:59
Georgian President, PM Congratulate Kazakh President on Re-Election
“I am confident friendly relations between Georgia and Kazakhstan will further strengthen,” PM said.
25 Apr.'15 11:57
Moscow Says EUís Eastern Partnership is ĎAnti-Russianí
Russian MFA spokesperson said Moscow has “a very negative” stance towards EaP.
24 Apr.'15 14:14
Georgian Parliament Vice Speaker Attends Ceremony Marking Centenary of Armenian Massacre
MP Kobakhidze chairs Georgian-Armenian group of friendship in the Georgian Parliament.
24 Apr.'15 12:29
U.S.-Georgia Defense and Security Working Group Meets in Tbilisi
The U.S. delegation reiterated “strong bilateral partnership.”
23 Apr.'15 17:06
Belarus, Georgia Pledge to Deepen Ties
Lukashenko: “We have never let you down even in the most difficult times.”
22 Apr.'15 19:15
Belarus President Starts First Official Visit to Georgia
Lukashenko will meet Georgian officials in Tbilisi and Batumi on April 23-24.
22 Apr.'15 11:01
Georgian Parliament Speaker Visits Montenegro
Usupashvili said bilateral cooperation, as well as NATO and EU integration will be discussed.
21 Apr.'15 18:52
Georgiaís Foreign Trade in Q1í15
Georgia’s export was down by 27.7% and imports by 3% y/y in January-March, 2015.
21 Apr.'15 15:27
PM Names New Infrastructure Minister
Nodar Javakhishvili will replace Davit Shavliashvili, who filed resignation on April 21.

About Civil Georgia
Civil.Ge © 2001-2013, Daily News Online
Registered office: 2 Dolidze Str, 4-th Floor.
46