The messenger logo

New steps in MIA

By Keti Arjevanidze
Friday, October 12
Irakli Gharibashvili is going to meet tomorrow with Eka Zghuladze, acting Minister of Internal Affairs. Among the issues to be discussed is security police contracted at City Hall.

It was reported that several days ago the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) fired several security police employees for not supporting the United National Movement in the recent parliamentary elections. Ministry of Internal Affairs press spokesperson Salome Makharadze denied this, replying that none of the employees in question were dismissed. According to Makharadze security police employees are being transferred from their current positions at City Hall to various government security services.

City hall’s press secretary Bacho Dolidze commented on the issue. According to Dolidze security police are not subordinate to City hall. "Therefore we couldn’t dismiss them, we had an agreement with the police to hire several of them as security." Dolidze stated.

After Gharibashvili met security service employees he stated that in cases where security police employees have been fired unfairly, as Minister of Internal Affairs he will rehire them.

There was speculation in the media that Gharibashvili was going to abolish the Departments of Constitutional Security (CSD) and Special Operations (SOP), which the incoming Minister of Internal Affairs denied during an interview on TV Maestro on October 10th. He explained that this was an incorrect interpretation statements previously made. He clarified that the CSD and SOP will probably be reorganized which would most likely involve the unification of the two departments.

The candidate also discussed the Georgian Dream coaliton's s strategy of working with the MIA. He explained that GD leaders are not going to fire current MIA employees.

Gharibashvili stated when he becomes Minister later this month his main strategy will be to depoliticize the MIA. "Policemen shouldn't be performing political orders. Our primary task is to make the police as free from politics as possible.” Gharibashvili said.

Gharibashvili also mentioned that despite the outgoing government's much-vaunted reforms such as creating new transparent police precincts there are many issues which need to be addressed. Gharibashvili added that policemen's activities will not be dependent on the whims of the Minister or his deputies.

“A free police force is our priority." Gharibashvili averred. He stated that the main function of police should be restored: "The police only should concentrate on the people’s and the country’s security." he added.

In his interview Gharibashvili also touched on the issue of uninvestigated cases. The incoming Minister of Internal Affairs stressed that the first step the new government will take is to ensure that the judiciary is free and independent. Only after that will talks about uninvestigated cases occur. Gharibashvili also promised that the police will cease wiretapping.

Levan Izoria, a representative of the Free Democrats, has been named as Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs. Izoria and Gharibashvili held talks with Prime Minister-elect Bidzina Ivanishvili on October 11th.