De facto Tskhinvali on illegally detained Georgian doctor: ‘crossing the border was well-planned’

The de facto Tskhinvali government says that a “provocation by doctor Vazha Gaprindashvili” is related to Tbilisi protests. Photo: TASS., 21 Nov 2019 - 15:58, Tbilisi,Georgia

The de facto security committee of Georgia’s Russian-occupied Tskhinvali region says that famous Georgian doctor Vazha Gaprindashvili, who was abducted by occupation forces on November 9, “deliberately crossed the border and the step was well-planned.”

In a statement released earlier today the de facto agency says that in early November Gapridashvili was on a foreign trip, visiting the Baltic States.

The agency says that Gaprindashvili returned to Georgia on November 4 and was receiving patients between November five and eight.

On November 6, 21,000 GEL was placed on his [Gaprindashvili] Bank of Georgia account. He warned patients [the de facto agency released transcripts of alleged phone conversations]  that he would not be in Tbilisi on Saturday and Sunday (November 9-10),” the de facto agency said.

The de facto agency reports that during the interrogation Gaprindashvili said that he “deliberately crossed the border as he was going to the church in the village of Monastery.”

However, he refused to clearly speak about his religious views and beliefs. He also refused to speak about his political affiliations, but stated that he supports Georgia’s NATO integration as soon as possible. Gaprindashvili refused to say that he crossed the border as he believes that South Ossetia (Tskhinvali) is Georgia and it is now occupied by Russia, which is a main enemy [of Georgia]” the de facto agency reports.

Famous Georgian traumatologist and orthopedist Vazha Gaprindashvili has been sentenced to two-month pretrial detention in Georgia's Russian-occupied Tskhinvali region on November 15. Photo: Firefly World. 

The de facto committee says that the “provocation is connected with mass protests in Tbilisi,” and that “official Tbilisi, the opposition and their western curators” are trying to gain “political points” in Gaprindashvili’s case.

But the attempts will be fruitless,” they say.

The Georgian State Security Service says that the statement by the de facto agency is “deliberate disinformation and accusations are invented.”

The agency says that the doctor “must be immediately released.”

A couple of days ago the same de facto agency also wrote that Gaprindashvili participated in the Russia-Georgia 2008 war. However, official documentation provided by Gudusauri hospital in Tbilisi proves that the doctor did not leave the hospital during the war.

Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia has stated earlier today that the government agencies are working in a 24-hour regime to achieve the release of doctor Vazha Gaprindashvili by occupation forces.

Georgian Foreign Minister David Zalkaliani has raised the issue with High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini, acting chair of OSCE Miroslav Lajcak, Deputy Secretary General of UN Rosemary DiCarlo and Deputy Secretary General of NATO Mircea Geoana, the Georgian Foreign Ministry reported yesterday.

A number of officials and organisations, including President Salome Zurabishvili and the United States Embassy to Georgia, have expressed their support to Gaprindashvili.

The Georgian Foreign Ministry said on November 16 that they are doing their best to ensure the safe return of the doctor.