TBILISI, January 13. /TASS/. Georgia's former president, Mikhail Saakashvili, has in fact made a confession in his statement concerning protests in the country on June 20-21, 2019, Georgia’s former parliamentary speaker, Irakly Kobakhidze, told the media on Monday.
"As far as the June 20 events are concerned, we are certainly obliged to say ‘thank you’ to Mikhail Saakashvili, because he has in fact made a confession to society and the law enforcers. It has turned out that when Nikanor (Nika) Melia (former parliament member from the United National Movement party - TASS) was urging his activists to force their way into the parliament building, he was acting on Saakashvili’s orders. In fact, we’ve heard Saakashvili make a confession," Kobakhidze said.
Former parliamentary speaker Georgy Volsky sees eye to eye with Kobakhidze.
"He (Saakashvili - TASS) has actually made a confession, thus confirming the legitimacy of the investigation that was launched in connection with the June 20 events. He said outright that they were very close to the overthrow of power," Volsky told a news briefing.
On January 11, Saakashvili told the opposition broadcaster Mtavari Arxi that when a large-scale protest demonstration took place in front of the parliament building in Tbilisi on June 20 last year, the future of the authorities "was hanging by a thread". Another tiny effort, and the regime would have been toppled. The chance was missed, though, he said.
The Interior Ministry said it would look into Saakashvili’s statement about the coup attempt.
June 20-21 crisis in Tbilisi
On June 20, a crowd of several thousand staged an anti-Russian rally in front of the Georgian parliament’s building in the capital Tbilisi. The demonstrators tried to force their way inside to demand the resignation of Speaker Irakly Kobakhidze and Interior Minister, current Prime Minister Georgy Gakharia. The police dispersed the crowd with tear gas, rubber bullets and water cannon.
The unrest was triggered by the participation of Russian State Duma member Sergei Gavrilov and two other delegates in the Inter-Parliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy in Tbilisi. The opposition legislators were particularly angry to see their Russian counterpart chair the session, according to the official protocol, from the seat of the Georgian parliamentary speaker. Legal charges were brought against a former Georgian parliament member from Saakashvili’s party United National Movement, Nika Melia. Former Defense Minister Irakly Okruashvili and several demonstrators were detained.
Later, on June 8, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decree prohibited all Russian air carriers from making passenger flights (including commercial ones), from Russia to Georgia. The Russian Transport Ministry suspended all flights by Georgian carriers to Russia.