Letter of the President to the Man Wanted by Interpol
01 September, 2011
Letter of the President to the Man Wanted by Interpol

Legal collision: one EU Member State detains a citizen of another Member State who has not committed a crime in either of the States

A short time ago, Spanish police detained German citizen Bidzina Giorgobiani, former head of Georgian Department of Forestry, when the latter arrived in Spanish Island of Mallorca on holiday. However, Giorgobiani found himself in the Palma town prison and even had to announce a hunger strike for three days. Spanish law enforcers “quickly” solved

the case and freed the German citizen, who was vehemently supported by the EU Member State. After that Bidzina Giorgobiani placed a letter of appreciation to his protecting country on his Facebook page. He talked to us about his recent travails.

A: I took vacation and went to Spain together with my wife and children for a week. When we entered a hotel in a small town of Monacor on Mallorca Island, the receptionist asked my passport and checked my name in the system and learnt that I was wanted by the Spanish Interpol. They instantly arrived from the police department and arrested me. My name was given to Interpol in 2006. In 2007 though, Germany granted me its citizenship. Even so, Spain seems to have different relations with Georgians wanted. They decided to check genuineness of my German passport. It continued for several days. I spent this time in the isolated cell of preliminary detention, where I staged a hunger strike demanding meeting with representative of Germany consulate. On the fourth day of the strike they transferred me to Palma town prison. There the German consulate got involved and situation changed radically. I was transferred to Madrid National Court. This court decides on the extradition cases. The court somehow acknowledged that I was a German citizen and freed me from the hearing hall.

I am not threatened by extradition any more. Yet it is a remarkable legal collision that we face. One EU Member State detains a citizen of another Member State who has not committed a crime in either of the States. Germany was arguing that I was a political refugee who fled the persecution of his own country. Germany recognized me as a political refugee as early as 1995 and granted its citizenship in 2007. You must see the accusation against me handed over to Interpol. It says I was an authoritarian head. In other words, the Georgian Authorities claim I established the dictatorship in the forestry sector. In the German consulate they told me that Interpol cannot be used as a means of the third country (Georgia in this case) for the purposes of political revenge, especially when in the countries like Georgia, legal system is dysfunctional. On 30 September, 2007, the Strasburg Court accepted my appeal but the hearings have not started yet.

During the detention I lost my private items, money, glasses, health insurance card, driving license, portmanteau and so on. When I started the hunger strike in the police department, I got sick. They immediately took me to the hospital and treated me at the expense of my health insurance. Then my private items disappeared…

It’s a legal nonsense that Georgia appealed to Interpol to find me because they know my whereabouts and what I do very well. Letters signed by Mikheil Saakashvili were arriving at the post box at my residential address. So, what was the need for Interpol?

Q: What letters?

A: For instance, in 2007 I received a letter with Saakashvili’s signature which reads that he does not disown me of Georgian citizenship. I know from private talks that when the Spanish police arrested me, Georgian Authorities did everything to get me extradited.

It was as early as 2005 when Saakashvili said that he will have Bidzina Giorgobiani carried in handcuffs from Germany to Georgia. Yet, he failed. The public will learn soon who will get handcuffs on their hands. I personally promise it to Saakashvili.

The Authorities cannot forget me because I proved with documents that high ranking officials, as well as the department of constitutional security and Ministry of Internal Affairs run black financial operations together with Kokoiti regime. On request of one of the factions, this issue was studied by the investigating commission of the Parliament. Witnesses confirmed that they were forced to give false testimonies. These were an officer of the Justice Ministry Khatuna Tkeshelashvili and a representative of the Chamber of Control Nugzar Nachkebia. There was other documentary evidence. They are attached to the case and stored in the Parliamentary library. As I accused the Authorities of the crime and refused to allow privatization of the forests, they started to persecute me. When the late Georgian PM Zurab Zhvania died and there were no more allies in the Government, they got rid of me. They totally destroyed the forestry system. Now they look surprised about landslides and other natural calamities. The judge who imposed an absurd prosecution on me did not have even a University level education in law but received a land gift at the Lisi Lake in appreciation of his deed. Everyone knows it.

Wherever I find myself, I will keep fighting these Authorities. Saakashvili wants to eliminate Georgians as a nation – to destroy them and then to create a new breed of Georgians. What else can you say when they fight even a genius such as world famous producer Robert Sturua.

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