France, Strasburg / Тrend corr A. Maharramli / Trend's interview with the head of the Georgian delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), Georgy Bokeriya.
Question: Will the recent riots in Georgia turn into a coup? How well-grounded are the former defence minister Irakli Okruashvili's accusations with respect to the President?
Answer: Of course not. There are no prerequisites for a coup. Everybody in Georgia knows that. This is ordinary political life. The former defence minister, who has been investigated, voiced scandalous and absurd accusations. Everybody knows that he only made the accusations to gain political immunity. But he failed, for he is being accused of very serious corruption crimes. The full speed investigation in recent months resulted in the accusation of many former and current high-ranking officials of serious corruption crimes. So, it is an ordinary anti-corruption case.
The former defence minister was very popular in Georgia. In making groundless accusations about the President he took a very unordinary even disgraceful step. In this he tried to stop the investigation. But the investigation was not suspended. Obviously, this is a scandal and a problem for us, for he was a member of our Cabinet, our team. So, we can see that political loyalty or high-flown political statements by opponents change nothing in the current political power, when the issue is corruption.
Question: Could Okruashvili pursue political aims?
Answer: I think his only aim was to stop the investigation which harmed both him and his environment. The conflict involving the former minister began two years ago, when many law-enforcement representatives were arrested in his native region and he was very discontented about that. Naturally, the investigation was advancing. And now it is not the Georgia of Shevarnadze where high-ranking bureaucrats could patronize their close friends and relatives. The situation is different now.
Question: What is your forecast on relationships between Tbilisi and South Osetia? How may the situation in South Osetia develop?
Answer: Although, Moscow's position is, unfortunately, not changing, we still hope that we will gradually have more opportunities for a political settlement of the conflict.
Every day Georgians, including Osetians, residing in the region understand and back the peaceful regulation. Although, Dmitri Sanakoyev's government, the head of the temporary South Osetia Administration, has a wide mandate and is supported by most citizens of the region but he cannot control the territory occupied by Russia that will have an important role in the establishment of a new autonomy. Now work is being carried out to establish the new system of autonomy. I believe we will have a concrete sample of autonomy in South Osetia by the end of the year, which will lead us to political regulation. However, Moscow seeing the process may embark on radical provocation. Unfortunately, such a danger cannot be excluded.
Question: What do you expect from the Mixed Control Commission (MCC) on regulation of the Georgian-Osetian conflict which will take place at the OSCE office in Tbilisi in the second half of October?
Answer: Unfortunately nothing especially. We will try to put forward our peaceful plan that, unfortunately, is blocked by the Russian so-called Osetian side which is continued by Russia. Unfortunately, the realistic forecast will not lead to anything. We will continue trying.
Question: How realistic is the PACE bureau mission sent to Georgia in order to investigate the death of the former Prime Minister, Jvania?
Answer: We are always ready to assist any international group interested in any issues happening within Georgia. We have a group of monitoring, reporters. They have recently been and they have positive assessments. As for the Russian delegation which wants to 'play on it' and begin a campaign to blacken the international image of Georgia, I do not believe they will succeed. It is not the first time the Russian delegation has attempted to use the state of the market against Georgia. So due to statements by the former Minister who was detained they are trying to use the situation. It is easy to be deceitful and state that the arrest of the former Minister was due to his statements. However, investigation, arrest and political statements were directed to prevent an investigation. It is quite a different case.
Everything is clear regarding the death of the former prime minister or to almost everybody in Georgia. There is a certain part of the population that likes secret theories. Totally everybody knows that that was a tragic accident. The Georgian Government invited the US Federal Research Bureau to hold all technical investigations on the high level. I do not think they will success attempting to blacken international image of Georgia.