Prosecutor’s office said on November 4 it is pressing negligence charges against three army medical officials and three employees of a state-owned food provider company in case related to foodborne illnesses case of hundreds of servicemen last year.
This is the second criminal investigation related to the Ministry of Defense and general staff of the armed forces reported by the prosecutor’s office over the past week. One former and four serving officials from the Defense Ministry and general staff were arrested on October 28 and charged with misspending in alleged sham tender – the case which is already causing rift within the ruling Georgian Dream coalition.
In 2013 there were several cases when media sources reported about dozens of soldiers suffering with diarrhea from food poisoning. Prosecutor’s office said on November 4 that total of 858 servicemen suffered with foodborne illnesses, 90 of which required hospitalization, in ten separate cases in 2013.
Prosecutor’s office said that the head of the general staff’s medical department; chief medic of the 3rd infantry brigade of the armed forces and head of the medical service of the 4th infantry brigade, as well as three employees of the Georgian Food Company, which last year was under the MoD subordination were charged with “negligence”, accusing them of not carry out “sanitary-hygienic and epidemiological supervision and control measures” in army canteens.
Meanwhile, Defense Minister Irakli Alasania plans a news conference in the headquarters of his Free Democrats party at 6pm local time on Tuesday.
Also at 6pm on Tuesday, PM Irakli Garibashvili is holding a meeting with lawmakers from the Georgian Dream parliamentary majority in the Georgian Dream coalition headquarters, which, according to his office, will also be attended by cabinet members.