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‘We wanted to create temporary dictatorship’, Irakli Okruashvili

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Monday, January 21
Once an influential and powerful member of the Rose administration, former Chief Prosecutor and

Minister of Defense, Irakli Okruashvili, broadly spoke about the past situation, the mistakes made by the former government, the reasons of his protest towards his former allies, the various accusations concerning him and his future perspectives.

In an interview with Channel 9, Okruashvili underscored that President Shevardnadze’s period formed an “unhealthy” environment that brought the country unbeneficial, horrible conditions.

The former Defense Minister emphasized that the Rose administration tried to create a “temporary dictatorship” in order to defeat the hardest criminals and rid Georgia of its corruption environment. However, the dictatorship turned permanent and lasted for 9 years.

"Changes were carried out in the constitution that encouraged the leading position of only one political player. This situation created a syndrome of impunity,” Okruashvili said.

The former official stated that the reason of his leaving the United National Movement was the fact that "the government exceeded all limits and acted as a dictator,” Okruashvili stated.

“I was pressured through my friends and relatives. The government members imprisoned my friends and they were brutally tortured. My relatives were also tortured… that is why I asked for political asylum in France,” Okruashvili stated.

Okruashvili who was actively blamed in brutal actions towards soldiers during his time as minister, stated that this blame is groundless and that the army was his second family.

“It has been proven that all the blame towards me was false and I answered all the questions. There is no threat of the government in the country any more… if someone has some complaints towards me I am ready to respond to them,” Okruashvili stated.

The former minister also denied the speculations that he had some security guarantees from the new government of Georgia to return back to the country.

Okruashvili was also asked regarding the well-known murders and some still mysterious cases. The former minister one more time repeated that the current President of Georgia want him to act against deceased millionaire Badri Patarkatsishvili.

“As for the case of former Prime Minister Zurab Zhvania, I believe that he was not killed,” Okruashvili stated.

“I might have some blame concerning the murder of Buta Robakidze as I was an interior minister that time and the blame shifts on me as well,” Okruashvili said.

Okruashvili has no definite future political plans currently.

“I have always excluded myself as a president and I do not intend to take part in the Presidential elections,” Okruashvili said.

The former minister underscored that the start of the new Georgian government is right however, real improvements inside Georgia will require time.

“Restoration of justice is the most important and the steps of the current government in this regard are right. I do not support all to be imprisoned. However, there is a public demand as well that those officials who committed serious crimes should be punished,” Okruashvili said.

He also stated that education system is completely annihilated in Georgia recently that creates serious problems for the country advancement.

“Practically each field needs reforms. Carrying out those reforms and preparation of adequate working staff will require time,” Okruashvili stated.

Okruashvili, was arrested after he leveled serious allegations against President Saakashvili and announced about setting up of an opposition party in late September, 2007.

At that time he was charged with large scale extortion; less than two weeks after he was arrested, Okruashvili pleaded guilty, retracted his allegations leveled against Saakashvili and was released on bail; he then left the country. After the coalition Georgian Dream came into power, Okruashvili returned and presented against the court. All the charges were removed and the former official was released.