MP Khidasheli: UNM must answer 15 questions about November 7 riots

MP Tinatin Khidasheli went online to challenge UNM about Saakashvili’s role in the alleged crimes., 29 Jul 2014 - 16:08, Tbilisi,Georgia

A Georgian Dream Member of Parliament and Council of Europe representative is demanding the former government and its supporters answers 15 poignant questions relating to new criminal charges against ex-president Mikheil Saakashvili.

MP Tinatin Khidasheli, who is also the vice chairperson of the ALDE faction of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, went online to challenge opposition party United National Movement (UNM) about Saakashvili’s role in the alleged crimes.

The charges against Saakashvili have generated a mixed reaction from the Georgian public. Opposition UNM called the charges against Saakashvili’s as "political persecution” while Government representatives said questions needed to be answered.

Saakashvili was charged for his role in the violent dispersal of an anti-governmental mass protest on November 7, 2007; unlawful raiding of Imedi television company by riot police and illegal take-over of property owned by late media tycoon Badri (Arkadi) Patarkatsishvili.

Today MP Khidasheli went on Facebook and demanded UNM answer 15 poignant questions. She said these questions should be answered before UNM begins to look for political trails and calls Saakashvili’s prosecution "Putin’s assignment”.

Her questions were:

1. Were people beaten with incredible cruelty on November 7 or not?

2. Were the protesters sacked by muscular men in street cleaners’ uniforms at 7am of that day or not?

3. Were rubber bullets used during the raid or not?

4. Did the police forces rush into TV Imedi at night or not?

5. Were youth raided in Batumi without announcing a State of Emergency on November 8 or not?

6. Did the Special Forces dressed in civilian clothing take part in the raid or not?

7. Was the private property of TV Imedi destroyed or not?

8. Were journalists physically assaulted or not?

9. Did MP Koba Davitashvili disappear and was he almost killed or not?

10. Were Goga Khaindrava and Zura Marakvelidze illegally arrested during the first raid at 7am or not?

11. Were protesters chased to the markets and pharmacies or not?

12. During the raid on Rike on November 7, was there an attempt of laying a siege to the protesters or not?

13. Was an unknown weapon used during the raid at Rike, which led to severe leg injuries of several people or not?

14. While all this was broadcast live, did anyone think to at least stop this brutality or not?

15. Were television broadcasts illegally turned off from the main TV tower, including TV Kavkasia or not?

"And if the answers to these and many similar questions are positive, then somebody perhaps gave this command,” she said.

Khidasheli added that if it was not Saakashvili who ordered these commands, UNM should reveal who was responsible for ordering "brutality against hundreds of thousands of its own citizens”.