Georgian Police Detains 9 Ex-State Officials In Alleged Witch Hunt P


November 15, 2012 – 20:36 AMT

PanARMENIAN.Net – Georgian police detained a further nine former
state officials on Thursday, November 15 widening an investigation
which the opposition says is a politically motivated persecution by
the new government, according to Reuters.

The nine, all interior ministry officials under President Mikheil
Saakashvili, were charged with abuse of power. Similar allegations
were brought against the former interior minister and two military
commanders arrested last week.

With Saakashvili’s nine-year dominance of the political scene over,
his allies now say a witch hunt is being orchestrated by the new
government of Bidzina Ivanishvili whose six-party coalition won a
parliamentary election last month.

Lawyers for the nine detainees said they had been also charged with
abuse of power and illegal confinement.

Former Interior Minister Bacho Akhalaia, arrested last week, quit his
post in September, before the election, in a prisoner abuse scandal.

He has been charged with torture and, separately, of illegally
confining a person he had a disagreement with.

The head of NATO, which Georgia aims to join, has expressed concern
about the arrests and European officials whom Ivanishvili met earlier
this week on a trip to Brussels criticized the cases launched against
his political opponents.

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