A leader of the Georgian's political party Imedi released

Georgia Materials 6 February 2007 11:46 (UTC +04:00)

(www.civil.ge) вЂ" Irina Sarishvili, a leader of the Imedi (Hope) political party affiliated with wanted ex-security chief Igor Giorgadze's Justice Party, was released after 8 hours of interrogation.

The Georgian law enforcers detained Sarishvili and her two companions after they crossed the border from Armenia afternoon on February 5.

Sarishvili told reporters after the release that she and her two companions were carrying USD 58 000 which they did not declare during customs clearance procedures. Earlier reports said that 300 grams of undeclared gold were also seized from Sarishvili, but the latter said gold belonged to a driver of a taxi which was transporting them from Armenia to Georgia. Taxi driver remains under detention, reports Trend.

After Sarishvili's arrest, an influential parliamentarian from the ruling National Movement Party Givi Targamadze said that the case was important from the political point of view.

It is absolutely clear for everyone: Sarishvili was returning from Moscow [where wanted ex-security chief Igor Giorgadze is based] via Armenia with USD 58 000, MP Targamadze, who chairs parliamentary committee for defense and security, told Rustavi 2 television late on February 5.

But Sarishvili denied that she was in Moscow.

I was in Yerevan and this amount of money was for my and my two friends' families, Sarishvili told reporters after she was released.

MP Targamadze also said that recently Russia has shifted its attention from Giorgadze's allies to other political forces in Georgia.

I mean politicians like Gocha Jojua, who recently has questioned Georgia's aspirations into NATO; also Irakli Melashvili, MP Targamadze said.

He was referring to two politicians from the newly set up political party National Forum, which is led by Kakha Shartava who is a newcomer in the Georgian politics.

MP Gocha Jojua has denied Targamadze's allegations as groundless.

This is a very strange allegation. I have only asked a question: how Georgia can benefit from integration into NATO and that's all, MP Jojua told Imedi television late on February 5.