Political Confrontation Transformed into Physical Fight
31 March, 2011
Political Confrontation Transformed into Physical Fight

Spouse of Former Parliamentary Speaker sees Incident as MIA Setup

Without doubt, the most significant political event of the past week was an incident in the Munich airport involving Levan Gachechiladze, former rival of President Saakashvili in the last elections and co-Chair of Georgian Party, and Badri Bitsadze, Former Head of Border Defense Department and husband of former Parliamentary Speaker.

It turns out that Gachechiladze slapped Bitsadze in the face and offended him verbally. This information initially surfaced in the social network

The confrontation started after Bitsadze accused Gachechiladze of asking President Saakashvili for 2 million dollars. Namely, few months ago one of the Georgian newspapers published an interview with Badri Bitsadze, husband of former Parliamentary Speaker. In the interview Bitsadze claimed that in the heyday of protest rallies in the Georgian capital, Gachechiladze, one of the active rally leaders, met with the Georgian President. Allegedly at the meeting the Leader of the Georgian Party Coalition wrote down his demands on a paper and gave it to Saakashvili, promising to stop the rallies if the Georgian President fulfilled them. As Bitsadze asserts, among other things, Gachechiladze was asking for 2 million US dollars. After the publication of the ill-fated interview, political tensions between Bitsadze and Gachechiladze skyrocketed. Confrontation found its expression in casual poignant statements and commentaries. However the incident in the Munich airport proved to be the climax of tensions.
The Georgian Party is not commenting on the subject. As for Badri Bitsadze, he insists that Gachechiladze has received a new order from the Authorities and the provocation in the Munich airport was intended to provide grounds for his arrest by Vano (Ivane Merabishvili, Minister of Internal Affairs). The only thing they say in the Georgian Party is that they confirm the fact that the Party Leaders – Levan Gachechiladze, Koka Guntsadze, Sozar Subari and Erosi Kitsmarishvili did happen to be in Munich. “They certainly were in the Munich airport. Yet, the Party is not going to comment on the incident,” – reads the official press release of the Party.
According to the information spread in the Facebook, one of the eye-witnesses of the incident recalled that Gachechiladze physically harassed Bitsadze. However Badri Bitsadze denies the fact of physical clash: “Physical confrontation with me is not easy. Gachechiladze doesn’t have what it takes to do it… In the airport I saw Gachechiladze, Subari, Kitsmarishvili and Guntsadze. They were returning from somewhere. Suddenly, Gachechiladze popped up in front of me… Gachechiladze seems to have received a new order from his bosses to stage provocations against me in the places of public gathering in order to make me loose my temper. He is being paid for that. He is capable of provocations, but nothing else. He cannot hook me on cheap provocations,” Bitsadze said. “What baffles me is why they make a problem out of the problem of seeing me. If they have something to say to me, they can do it without a problem. It seems though he has received a new order to somehow make me explode with anger and give them an excuse to arrest me.”
As Bitsadze asserts, the Authorities are harboring plans to detain him. They are using Gachechiladze to this end. Bitsadze recalls that before the encounter they were sitting inside the same plane salon without any contact for a long time. He says Gachechiladze freaked out for a second.
Sozar Subari, the former public defender and currently one of the main party peers of Gachechiladze, chose not to say anything about the encounter.
“I cannot confirm or deny that the alleged conflict between Bitsadze and Gachechiladze did happen. The whole day we were in Kharagauli and returned late. I have not talked about it with Gachechiladze,” Sozar Subari said.
Later, another commentary came from Bitsadze’s spouse. Nino Burjanadze, the former Parliamentary Speaker said that if Gachechiladze had something to sort out he could have done it in Tbilisi, not in an airport abroad.
“We are not conflicting with anyone. It is strange that Mr. Levan decided to clarify the issue, which has been lingering in the public mind, in an inconvenient place such as Munich airport. Neither Badri Bitsadze, nor Levan Gachechiladze live in Munich. It would have been more convenient if they met in Tbilisi and clarified outstanding issues. I do not think such things are hard for men to do. It’s embarrassing to have it in an airport of a foreign country,” – said Nino Burjanadze. “I assure you that it is not so easy to harass physically Badri Bitsadze”.
Subsequently, several information portals reported that the conflict that started in the Munich Airport continued in Tskneti (settlement near Tbilisi). Namely, Levan Gachechiladze allegedly went to Badri Bitsadze’s summer house located in Tskneti and assaulted him verbally. The police was called. But before the police arrived, Gachechiladze left the scene.
As Bitsadze says, he and his family members have not noticed Gachechiladze near the summer house. Nor have they heard any noise outside. “I am at home after eight o’clock in the evening. I have not seen Gachechiladze. Nobody told me they saw Gachechiladze. My family members were at home as well and none of them had seen him either,”  Bitsadze said.


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