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Saakashvili refrains from politics

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Monday, February 3
“Please, do not involve me in politics” - this is what the former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili said commenting on the video, where the former Interior Minister Vano Merabishvili demands “two corpses.”

“I have had enough of Georgian politics in my life in order to now leave me alone at least over this issue,” Saakashvili added.

Current President Giorgi Margvelashvili also refrained from making any comment until the investigation is over. However, Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili was very verbose in his assessments.

The video was released through Youtube on January 29. Former chief of MIA, Vano Merabishvili, confirmed that the video was filmed during the Mukhrovani mutiny in 2009.

Merabishvili denied suggestions that he was giving an order to liquidate the mutiny leaders. Merabishvili said that the MIA was searching for two Russian advisors, who were killed for hiding Russian evidence.

The mutiny erupted on May 5, 2009 after the Georgian Army tank battalion stationed in Mukhrovani began to disobey official orders. According to the mutineers’ statement circulated by the local media, they were not planning any military action, and urged for dialogue between the government and the opposition during the ongoing political crisis.

Opposition member of that period, Davit Gamkrelidze, also claimed that no mutiny took place, and the government “just invented” the mutiny to recover anti-government movement in Georgia. One of the men suspected by the previous government as a leader of the mutiny, Gia Krialashvili, was shot dead, and two others, Koba Otanadze and Levan Amiridze, were wounded and arrested. After the video, Otanadze and Amiridze stated that now it would be obvious that there was no mutiny.

“We live in the state which is based on the rule of law, where the presumption of innocence of every person is protected and only the prosecutor’s office and the judiciary have to consider this issue, not politicians,” President Margvelashvili stressed.

PM Gharibashvili also stated that the law-enforcers would adequately assess the video. However, he did not hide his personal emotions over the video.

“Merabishvili says ‘bring me two corpses’ and a bonus will be paid – this is a commissioned murder, motivated by self-interest,” Gharibashvili says.

“We have actually witnessed how the former interior minister and former prime minister ordered for the two corpses, and to liquidate two persons. The investigation will find out the rest and I call on the prosecutor’s office to solve this case very soon,” PM stated.

Head of the Elections and Political Technologies Research Centre, Kakha Kakhishvili, states that the legal assessment of the video is the most significant. He states that after the expertise of the video, it should be specified what was the real content of Merabishvili’s words, how they were understood and fulfilled by his subordinates.

“If the Prosecutor’s Office studies a bonus fund allocated for the Mukhrovani case, many questions would be responded to over the video,” Kakhishvili says.

Dozens of former inmates released in an amnesty last year rallied in front of the UNM party headquarter on January 31. Protesters demanded that the UNM and its leaders, including former President Saakashvili, be sentenced and punished for their crimes.