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Police Question Merabishvili over 'Fake Passport'
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 7 Dec.'12 / 12:22

Former PM Vano Merabishvili arrived at the Interior Ministry’s investigative unit at noon on Friday after he was summoned for questioning for a second time in a week in connection to alleged use of fake passport.

Merabishvili, who is former interior minister and now secretary general of President Saakashvili’s UNM party, was first interrogated into this case on December 1, but the Interior Ministry said at the time that Merabishvili “actually did not cooperate with the investigation” and gave “contradictory” testimony.

The police said on December 6 that they questioned Merabishvili’s bodyguard, who said in his testimony, according to the Interior Ministry, that “he handed over two passports to Merabishvili at Tbilisi International Airport on November 30, 2012.”

“The Parliament approved a resolution and recognized agents of the Russian special services who were undermining Georgian statehood as political prisoners, so it is quite logical that a person [referring to himself], who was fighting against these very persons and who was protecting Georgian statehood, has now to arrive for interrogation. I will tell you more after I leave [the investigative unit],” Merabishvili told journalists before entering the Interior Ministry’s investigative unit.

On December 6 the Interior Ministry said that as part of the investigation into this case, it also found that forged documents were also issued for former Deputy Interior Minister Gia Lortkipanidze; Lortkipanidze’s photos were affixed to the passport and ID in question, but they bore the name of other person. The Interior Ministry said that Lortkipanidze was questioned and he “confirmed” that he really possessed these documents for a certain period of time.

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