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Opposition accusing Gov’t for cooperating with Russia

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Wednesday, January 25
The Parliamentary opposition United National Movement (UNM) and the European Georgia party, composed of ex-UNM members, are accusing the current Georgian Dream leadership of cooperating with Russia’s law enforcement agencies and providing them with information about a Georgian military detained in Ukraine wanted by Interpol.

The opposition says the Georgian Government “does nothing” to defend vice colonel Giorgi Tsertsvadze, “who fought for Georgia in Abkhazia and in the August Russia-Georgia war, as well as in Ukraine against Russia”.

Tsertsvadze was arrested in Ukraine on January 15 and is now waiting for the Court of Appeal’s verdict on his extradition to Russia.

Tsertsvadze, born on April 2 1969, was put on the internationally wanted list on December 23 2016 for further detention and extradition.

He has been wanted by Russian law enforcement agencies for a crime committed in 2003, allegedly planned mass murder, as well as attempted murder together with a group, and also for the illegal possession of arms.

The family and lawyers of Tsertsvadze claim if extradited to Russia, the man would be either tortured or murdered as “he fought against Russia”.

The opposition is accusing the Government of indifference to the case and appeals to diplomatic corps to become involved in the case.

They have already sent relevant documentation to Ukraine that they vouch for Tsertsvadze.

Georgia’s Interior Ministry has made an explanation concerning the case.

They stated no direct police cooperation is active between the Georgian and Russian interior ministries, “thus, no exchange of information has occurred”.

Meanwhile, members of the ruling party counter-accuse the oppositions of “making PR” through the case and acting as if they care about the man and lying that the Government wants him to be extradited to Russia.

The head of Parliament’s Defence Committee, Irakli Sesiashvili, condemned the opposition’s estimations and highlighted that the Government was doing its utmost to protect the officer.