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Irakli Melashvili Will Bring Suit against Special Operative Department and the Judge

16.10.2007
Irakli Melashvili, one of the leaders of National Forum, will soon bring suit against high ranking officials of the Special Operation Department (SOD) and Judge Mamuka Nozadze. They were already given 48 hours to produce documents proving the participation of Irakli Melashvili in the kidnapping of Mariam Goginashvili.

The case would not have generated such concern if Irakli Melashvili had not gotten a hold of a resolution enacted by Judge Nozadze on June 30th, 2006. The resolution was about the secret listening and recording of phone conversations. Melashvili’s telephone number was one of the targeted numbers.

“It is the first and only official proof of how the phone conversations of political leaders are listened in on in Georgia. I give 48 hours to the high-ranking officials and Judge Nozadze to show me the proof of my participation in this crime. Otherwise, I promise that they will be punished. Our lawyers are already working on the text of lawsuits that will be brought to the court in the case of both negative and positive answers. Officials from the SOD and the judge will be severely charged for this situation. It is direct political terror and these people must be punished for it,” stated Irakli Melashvili.

It is also interesting how Melashvili got hold of the resolution. He claimed that one of the famous prisoners came across Melashvili’s telephone number while reading his case materials. There was only a telephone number in the documents without naming the owner.

Melashvili said that the Internal Ministry used different methods in the past. “If somebody wanted to listen to somebody’s phone conversation, they should have received permission from the judge. Thus cases were created in order to receive that permit. Now, they include all interesting phone numbers in famous case materials in order to receive the right to do it. They might have drawn up the resolution so poorly that they could not imagine that the fact would be exposed.”

The resolution was enacted on July 30th, 2006. This is the period when the opposition was trying to join together in Tbilisi. A riot started regarding Sandro Girgvliani’s assassination at Tbilisi University. Boisterous demonstrations are held in front of the Parliament. Irakli Melashvili joined the opposition.

The Human Rights Center unsuccessfully tried to get in touch with SOD officials. Shota Khizanishvili, the head of the Administration of the Internal Ministry, replied in the same way as officials always do when mass media asks to them for comments. “I cannot make any comments. Who needed to listen to Melashvili’s phone conversations? He is mumbling something.”

Khizanishvili and others who think that it is only mumbling should see the resolution Melashvili has gotten a hold of. Melashvili has already informed international organizations.

The National Forum has documents issued by the Internal Ministry stating that Irakli Melashvili was never prosecuted and declared wanted. A similar notification is dated by April 26th, 2005, and another was dated by October 11th, 2007.

Ucha Nanuashvili, Executive Director of the Human Rights Center, pointed out that in the past people heard rumors that telephones were listened to, but now it is officially permitted and backed by corresponding resolutions.

“This fact must be seriously considered and questions must be answered as well. We cannot exclude the possibility that Melashvili will be imprisoned because of one word said over the phone. Did not the judge get interested whose phones were listened to? It is fact that recently our government has had an aversion to the National Forum and stated that it is a pro-Russian political party. The reason for blaming the National Forum was their statements made regarding NATO integration. That ‘NATO is not the only panacea for Georgia.’”

“However, as it has already been made public that people are listened to, the government will now think over new methods. It is not a secret that there are two shifts working in Magti offices. The first shift ends its working day at six and after that you can easily recognize the officials from the Department for Constitutional Security among the employees of the second shift. These people are sent to the Magti offices with special directives,” said Nanuashvili.

Irakli Melashvili supposes that the situation will not have a great impact. He still plans to appeal to the court.

Eka Kevanishvili, Tbilisi   

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