Irakly Okruashvili going to return to Georgian politics

Georgia Materials 11 February 2008 07:47 (UTC +04:00)

( Interfax ) - Former Georgian Defense Minister Irakly Okruashvili is going to return to politics, Eka Beselia, a lawyer for Okruashvili, told Interfax.

"In general, Okruashvili has never quitted politics. The authorities that isolated him forced him to quit," Beselia, who visits Okruashvili in Paris, said.

"Okruashvili feels well after he went on and completed a hunger strike," the lawyer said.

The former minister went on a hunger strike in a Paris jail in support of the united opposition in Georgia.

Okruashvili is not ready to give an interview and refrains from speaking with journalists, Beselia said. "Much, in particular Okruashvili's political activity, will depend on a decision of a Paris court," the lawyer said.

A court in Paris will hear a motion of the Georgian authorities concerning the extradition of Okruashvili, who is accused of corruption and abuse of office, on February 27.

Beselia also said that she passed new data that prove that Okruashvili is "a victim of [Georgian President] Mikheil Saakashvili persecution, rather than a criminal" to the court through French lawyers.

"We think that the court will make an adequate decision and will not extradite Okruashvili to the Georgian authorities," she said.