Son Of Georgia’s First President Detained In Tbilisi

SON OF GEORGIA’S FIRST PRESIDENT DETAINED IN TBILISI

Itar-Tass
04.09.2008, 16.45

TBILISI, September 4 (Itar-Tass) — Georgia’s law enforcers say
they have detained son of the country’s first president, late Zviad
Gamsakhurdia, Tsotne Gamsakhurdia, on charges of spying for a foreign
power and plotting an overthrow of the constitutional bodies of power.

The Georgian Prosecutor-General’s Office opened a criminal case
against Tsotne Gamsakhurdia in November 2007.

Lawyer Keti Bekauri was allowed to see her client earlier on Thursday.

"Tsotne is well. He says he is innocent, and he dismisses all the
charges that have been brought against him," the lawyer said.

Tsotne Gamsakurdia, 32, a philologist by profession, was very critical
of the Georgian authorities’ policies lately. From the autumn of 2007
to August 2008 he was resident in Russia.

In an article in Russian journal VIP Premier published before Georgia’
s attack on South Ossetia Gamsakhurdia wrote, "In the current
conditions the main player in Georgian territory is the United States."

He quoted public statements by some US political scientists who
stressed "the importance of US presence in Eurasian Balkans (a term
coined by Zbigniew Brzezinski) for limiting and restraining Russian
influence, and now the influence of China".

By promoting Georgia’s accession to NATO, Washington, 9 Cbesides
purely military considerations, plans to influence Russia’s North
Caucasus, which has a high conflict potential due to ethnic and
religious factors," Gamsakhurdia wrote. The United States "could not
influence the fate of the region without strategic allies. Turkey
is such an ally in TransCaucasia." Thus, "it would be appropriate
to speak about a certain coincidence of geopolitical interests of a
world power and a regional power." Iran displayed growing interest
in TransCaucasia of late and it has shifted the focus of cooperation
to Armenia, specifically that in the economic sphere. "For Armenia
Iran becomes an additional factor of national security enhancement,"
Gamsakhurdia concluded.

As for West European intentions in the region, they mostly boil down
to the transit of energy resources "as a stand-by option in case
traditional cooperation with Russia and the Middle East fails."

Georgia has not developed either into an "oasis of democracy" or
into a flourishing economy, contrary to promises by foreign and
domestic politicians. According to official statistics, a fourth of
the population has emigrated and a half of those remaining live below
the poverty line.

Modern transnational energy and transportation projects failed to
provide either security or economic success to the country.

"At the current stage internationally recognized neutrality would be
the20best way out of the situation – all the interested parties would
guarantee security and development of the country," Gamsakhurdia said.

He does not rule out the possibility of "strategic partnership of
Georgia and Russia" by virtue of historic, cultural and economic
traditions.

"In difficult conditions of networked and colliding interests of
various powers the Georgian leadership is obliged to carry out
a balanced, long-sighted policy that meets the interests of the
people. In reality, it is the other way round."

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