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Interpol to stop search for Georgian officer

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Tuesday, January 31
The United National Movement opposition says they will address Interpol to remove the warrant for Georgian soldier Gia (Giorgi) Tsertsvadze, who was detained in Ukraine earlier this month on Russia’s demand.

Russia asked the extradition of the man to Moscow, which caused a stir in Georgia, but eventually Tsertsvadze was released.

The UNM claims the reason of the appeal to Interpol is that “every such case is politically motivated”.

One of the UNM’s leaders, Zaza Bibilashvili, stated that the UNM would also initiate the creation of a fact-finding commission with regards to Vice Colonel Tsertsvadze’s case.

“The party will demand the government to make public the identities of all militaries whose personal data had been transferred to Russia,” Bibilashvili stated.

"First of all, I want to congratulate everyone - his family and the whole of Georgia - on the release of Gia Tsertsvadze. I wish victory to the Ukrainian and Georgian peoples against our common enemy. I want to thank the Georgians who fought hard for the release of Tsertsvadze. Also, I want to thank the Ukrainian authorities, who took a good step and did not transfer the military to the enemy,” Bibilashvili stated.

The Government of Georgia dismissed the statements pertaining to any kind of transfer of Georgian fighters' personal data to Russia.

Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili said Georgia’s Chief Prosecutor was leading negotiations with Ukraine over the release of Tsertsvadze.

Georgian Vice-Colonel Tsertsvadze, who was detained in Kyiv on January 15 on the basis of an Interpol warrant requested by Russia, was freed from pre-trial detention on January 26.

The Appeals Court of Kyiv postponed the hearing of Tsertsvadze’s case for February 3, and left him in pre-trial detention on Thursday. However, due to the decision of the Prosecutor’s Office, Giorgi Tsertvadze was released several hours later.

Ukrainian Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko announced Tsertsvade’s release on his official Facebook page.

“As promised, Tsertsvadze is free. Ukraine does not betray its people, including Georgians,” Lutsenko’s post reads.

While leaving the pre-trial detention facility, Tsertsvadze thanked everyone who was demanding his release. He said that Russia wants to detain people who have information about Georgia’s security.

The Georgian serviceman was put on the internationally wanted list on December 23 2016 on the request of Russia, which claims that Tsertsvadze committed a murder in 2003.

Tsertsvadze fought for Georgia in Abkhazia and in the August Russia-Georgia war of 2008. He also fought against Russia in Ukraine’s Donbas region.