Secret letter: UNM expresses hope French gov’t will release ex-Defence Minister

French authorities detained Kezerashvili on Oct. 15. Photo by Attila Kisbenedek / AFP, 16 Jan 2014 - 12:45, Tbilisi,Georgia

A secret letter to French authorities, written by the former ruling party asking for the release of Georgias ex-Defence Minister, has been exposed.  

The letter, written by the members of United National Movement (UNM), a party lead by Georgian former President Saakashvili, expressed hope that French authorities would release Davit Kezerashvili on bail.

Kezerashvili is wanted in Georgia on multiple criminal charges including corruption.  He is accused of bribe-taking, violations of Georgias rules for transportation of especially large amount of movable items, and illegal money laundering committed by a group that was accompanied by acquiring a large amount of income. David Kezerashvili also faces charges of alienating TV Imedi in 2008.He was detained in France on  October 14  last year.

The letter was published today in Georgian newspaper Alia, a day after it released a letter disclosing details of Kezerashvilis business involvement. The letter showed the former high official was the sole beneficial owner of the FPC Group, registered in an offshore zone.  

The letter to French authorities says Kezerashvilis current incarceration caused significant disruptions in UNMs day to day ability to fund its political activities and to run for the upcoming local elections.

This is the letter of UNM published by Alia newspaper today.

"Although we are hopeful that the French authorities will eventually deny the extradition request from Georgia as being politically grounded, we are concerned with Kezerashvilis current incarceration and respectfully and adamantly submit that he should be set free, in accordance with French rule on bail, so as to allow the UNM to maintain its political activities, reads the letter.

According to Alia, the letter read that Kezerashvili contributed greatly to the Rose Revolution.

"Davit Kezerashvili has been, until this day, the most important organiser of fundraising to support our political activities and pour campaigns in all of Georgian elections. Without Kezerashvili fundraising activities, the source of financing our political party, are threatened to diminish to a point which is not sufficient to allow the UNM to remain the only resinous democratic political opposition party in Georgia, reads the latter published by Alia.

The letter, which does not identify who it is addressed to, was signed by the partys 27 MPs, including David Bakradze, the Chairman of the Political Council of UNM.

Furthermore, the letter is dated November 21, 2013.

The Prosecution Office has already expressed its interest in the letter and said it would investigate the case.

Yesterday, a document prepared by international audit company Deloitte Limited, revealed the income and the extent of ex Minister of Defence David Kezerashvilis business.