17 October, 2013
What is the status of wanted ex-minister Zurab Adeishvili living in Hungary?

It’s for the second time in one year that Victor Orban, Prime Minister of Hungary, attracted Georgian people’s attention. By the end of September 2012, before the Parliamentary elections, Orban arrived in Georgia to support Saakashvili and National Movement.
Then-Minister-of-Justice Zurab Adeishvili probably could hardly imagine that he would be a wanted person hiding as a Hungarian guest. According to latest information, Orban gave an asylum to Adeishvili
and appointed him as his private consultant. This information became reliable when Victor Orban delivered a speech at Chatham House. There he was confronted with a question by Sulkhan Khabadze, a Chatham House Institute member. The latter wondered as to why Adeishvili, wanted by Georgia for several criminal cases, was given a political asylum in Hungary. Instead of replying, the Hungarian PM changed the subject.
According to latest reports, the Georgian Authorities have been waiting for the answer for one year and Peter Szijjarto, Hungarian State Minister was the guest of our economic team several days ago.
There are questions with regard to Georgian Government that confirms that for the time being Adeishvili isn’t yet wanted by Interpol. According to Minister of Justice Tea Tsulukiani, Prosecutor’s Office has already sent an inquiry to include Adeishvili in a red circular and the work is going on. “Presumably Prosecutor’s Office can give concrete information,” declared Tsulukiani. But the Prosecutor’s Office says nothing new. Besides, information is spread that presumably the Interpol is asking for proof as the lack of it creates hindrances to declare him wanted. According to Kakha Kakhishvili, Director of Center for Election and Political Technologies, it isn’t clear why Interpol needs proofs.
Kakha Kakhishvili: - It’s incomprehensible why isn’t he searched for on an international scale; what’s more, after it became known that he is on the Hungarian territory. Declaration of members of our authorities that search by Interpol can’t continue because for the time being the proof is still not sent to Interpol is also inconceivable. This organization doesn’t start search on the bases of proof. In case a person is made answerable according to a certain paragraph of a criminal code, is sentenced to imprisonment and wanted within Georgia, Interpol isn’t interested in proof. Interpol refuses to search for somebody in case he is wanted for political, religious or racial issues. In other cases, Interpol has to make a decision to announce international search for a person and in case of refusal to do so, they send an official letter to Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia and inform about the reason of the refusal to continue the search. As far as we know no such document has been received by Prosecutor’s Office.
Q. – Why should Hungary cover up Adeishvili?
A. – As I know Prime Minister of Hungary is his friend… He avoided speaking about Adeishvili and mostly stressed strong democracy of Hungary and this causes suspicion that indeed Adeishvili is in Hungary. Otherwise he could declare straightforward that Adeishvili wasn’t in Hungary.
In case Adeishvili has received citizenship of Hungary, this country won’t transfer him to Georgia so simply. Besides, Ministry of Justice of Georgia should have received notification about Adeishvili’s Hungarian citizenship because if he already is citizen of Hungary, he cannot be citizen of Georgia. If Adeishvili received a political asylum in Hungary then he can be anywhere on the European territory. For this reason, it’s interesting to know the legal status that the former Minister of Justice has a legal basis for residing in Hungary.
If Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia has indeed sent a request to Interpol about Adeishvili’s international search but the wanted was given political asylum, Interpol should inform Prosecutor General’s Office of Georgia. Such an answer may even exist but we know nothing about it. In case Interpol hasn’t hitherto given an answer to the letter and question of Prosecutor’s Office (as they declare), then any state, having dignity, should display desire to once again send a letter or remind the addressee about his responsibility.
I wonder why the Prosecutor’s Office is so soft-hearted in connection with Adeishvili and other former high-ranks when the State has arguably amassed a sea of evidence to brought criminal cases against them. I understand that Adeishvili isn’t here but those persons who are connected with some delicate issues haven’t gone anywhere. Prosecutor’s Office is tolerant with regard to them as well. What can be the reason? Somebody either doesn’t want or cannot start investigation; or both together. It’s a fact that one out of two reasons really exists.
We contacted Sulkhan Khabadze, Chatham House Institute member: “Prime Minister of Hungary visited Royal Institute of International Relations in London. I took this opportunity and asked him a question about the former General Prosecutor who had fled the country. To say the truth, I didn’t expect that he would give detailed answer. My aim was to make the participants of the meeting understand that in a democratic country the Prime Minister was asked a question about such an odious person as Adeishvili who presumably was in his country. During the meeting I informed the people who attended the meeting about the accusations put forward against Adeishvili in Georgia. It’s true that he isn’t wanted by red circular but we know that Tsulukiani’s Office is elaborating this issue.
I think I asked the prime minister a right question why Adeishvili didn’t choose a more democratic country to live in. He doesn’t recognize existence of western countries more developed and democratic than Hungary is. By the end of the meeting the host, Professor Lord Alton diplomatically pointed out the PM’s somewhat rude expressions.
Q. – Have you never thought that it’s the West that demands from Georgian authorities not to punish former high-ranks?
A. – I think that the point of view that the West is covering somebody is wrong. It’s ruled out that the countries where democratic values, rule of law and equality are primary values would support somebody’s impunity after his guilt is proved.
Q. – You also spoke with Hillary Clinton, former US Secretary of State.
A. – Clinton is our great friend and one of the supporters of Georgian democracy. She has a big share in holding peaceful elections. At this meeting she gave much advice to new authorities of Georgia.

P.S. Recently it became known that one more important person – the former head of the Fund for Developing of Tbilisi Giorgi Sabanadze – who fled Georgia was released by Italian court. According to his lawyers he was given a political asylum by …Hungary.
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