TBILISI, February 29 (Itar-Tass) — The Georgian opposition accused President Mikhail Saakashvili and members of his political team of corruption. The accusations were made during the marathon debate that lasted until two o'clock in the morning, following the president's annual report on the situation in the country.
Opposition lawmaker Georgy Tsagareishvili passed from the rostrum to Saakashvili several photos of the mansions, which he said belonged to the incumbent Cabinet ministers who became rich."
Tsagareishvili stated that in 2001, Saakashvili, as a Justice Minister, passed to the then president Eduard Shevardnadze some photos of fashionable homes of his Cabinet ministers. "And now I'm showing you the houses of the members of your team who have gotten rich," Tsagareishivili said
Another Opposition lawmaker, Dzhondi Bagaturia, showed Saakashvili's income declaration which the latter filled in February 2004, a month after winning his first presidential election.
According to Bagaturia, Saakashvili owned "modest property" then. But now, he and members of his family are very rich people who control oil and gold mining business, own a number of media outlets, many balneological spas and part of the education sector," the lawmaker noted, emphasizing that "it all happens against the background of poverty in the country"
In response, Saakashvili stated that "the accusations are false" and that they are "an attempt to defame the authorities at any cost."