“Former Minister Employed Blackmail Policy”
14 February, 2013
“Former Minister Employed Blackmail Policy”
Exclusive interview with Minister of Internal Affairs Irakli Gharibashvili

After the infamous 8 February confrontations in front of the National Library, Minister of Internal Affairs Irakli Gharibashvili faced a sea of criticism. Nationals accused the Administration of staging provocations with the Minister as their mastermind. Vano Merabishvili succeeded to see fear and confusion on Gharibashvili’s countenance. Read the exclusive interview with Minister Gharibashvili.
Irakli Gharibashvili: All MIA units were mobilized to ensure security at the National Library. They were supposed
to provide a shield for the President, guests and people outside.
Q: Who were among the rally participants, former prisoners only?
A: Political prisoners, their family members, relatives and supporters, as well as other people tortured and stripped of all rights by the National Movement. These representatives of previous Authorities were well aware of what would ensue after their appearance in front of these unhappy, tired out people. They knew the situation but purposefully chose an open provocation. The video recording clearly shows the sequence of events that unfolded and who did what there. Initially, appearance of Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti Governor Tengiz Gunava gave a good cause to demonstrators to get unnerved. The negative charge reached its peak when City Mayor Gigi Ugulava entered the scene. It is a pity that he intentionally incited aggression in the already unhinged and frustrated citizens who in the past were molested, tortured and beaten by the comrades of Ugulava. Everyone remembers what they did to the rally participants on Rustaveli Avenue on 26 May. Certainly, these people had a good enough reason for protests and aggression. Unfortunately, Saakashvili’s team did not use the special safe passage created for them.
Q: Ugulava claimed he was not aware of the safe passage.
A: Impossible! They were certainly aware of it. We agreed the security measures with the special service of Presidential guards. They discussed the question of alternative entries in detail.
Q: Did you discuss on phone the security measures with Giga Bokeria as well?
A: Yes, I did. He called me first. I told him about the alternative entries. He thanked me. Afer that coming of President was postponed twice.
And, what Mayor Gigi Ugulava did? He turned up with aggressive cries – “Who want the show? Go ahead, do it!” He cried out some abusive words loudly. He did not take advantage of arranged alternative passages, controlled by us. Instead, he rammed headstrong into the thick of the rally together with his National comrades. You can clearly see in the videos, how Ugulava is provoking poor people, who had been subjected to extreme abuse recently.
Q: Are you going to interrogate members of National Movement also?
A: We will summon everyone. The investigation will be interested to examine violations committed by both sides.
Q: Georgian Dream and Public Defender too expressed their discontent by the inadequate number of police cordons.
A: We positioned there more than enough policemen. We already arrested three most aggressive persons. Unlike the previous government, we do not punish people, judging by their political affiliations.
Q: Your predecessor Merabishvili said that the police is demoralized and the Minister is confused and frightened.
A: I have no intention to get into polemics with such a spineless, timid and slavish person. The former minister employed policy of blackmail that led to the practice of repulsive detentions when police would secretly plant weapons and drugs and then arrest innocent citizens for illegal weaponry and drug addiction or trade. During Merabishvili’s rein, police was illegally collecting compromising video and audio tapes against almost anyone, including even National party members, political opponents and prominent public figures for further blackmailing innocent people and terrorizing businesses.
1500 ampoules of narcotics were spent per month from the MIA medical store. Why so large spending? What did they want drugs for? For personal use or sale? Or for planting? Let the public make a point on it. The Vano’s blackmailing machine worked smoothly.
Now the country has a new MIA which protects rights of every citizen and provides security without discriminating by political convictions. The recent amnesties set over 500 prisoners free. But since 2012 May the President has pardoned over 2000 people, including those who committed grave crimes. Nevertheless we assume full responsibility for the public security.
Q: American Ambassador Norland stated that it was not a democracy what happened.
A: Certainly, it was not. It’s so embarrassing when representatives of National Movement and previous Authorities are behaving so undemocratically and violently.
Once again, I declare with full responsibility that the country lives in an absolutely stable situation and that Ministry of Internal Affairs always will be on guard of citizens’ rights and freedom!
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