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Georgia ex-interior minister detained, charged with office abuse

November 07, 2012, 14:14 UTC+3

Bacho Akhalaia on November 6 was summoned to the Georgian Prosecutor General’s Office as a witness in the case of abuse of power

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TBILISI, November 7 (Itar-Tass) — The former head of the Department of Corrections, ex-Defence and Interior Minister Georgia Bacho Akhalaya has been detained after questioning in the country’s Prosecutor General’s Office, the Georgia News agency reported on Wednesday.

“Bacho Akhalaia has been charged with abuse of office,” the agency quotes the ex-minister’s lawyer David Dekanoidze.

According to him, the former interior minister has already left the building of the Prosecutor’s Office. The lawyer did not specify where the former minister was convoyed. Akhalaia’s lawyer told journalists in Tbilisi earlier that prosecutors questioned Akhalaia for three hours on November 6 about the “improper treatment of certain individuals.”

Akhalaia, who resigned on September 20 after the video records showing tortures in the Gldani prison in Tbilisi were made public, on November 6 was summoned to the Georgian Prosecutor General’s Office as a witness in the case of abuse of power. The former interior minister told reporters that he was “ready to answer any questions.”

Akhalaia left the country after the parliamentary elections on October 1, however, on November 5 he returned to his homeland. In 2005-2008 he was head of the Department of Corrections, from August 2009 to July 2012 - the head of the Ministry of Defence, from July 4 - Interior Minister.

On September 20, he resigned after demands of the participants in mass actions that were organised after TV channels made public videos showing tortures of the inmates of the Gldani prison in Tbilisi. It was during his tenure as head of the Department of Corrections that the practice of torturing prisoners was established, his accusers claimed.


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