Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili made a special statement at a briefing after his meeting with the coalition majority at the Georgian Dream coalition office this evening, where he announced he had dismissed the country’s Defence Minister Irakli Alasania.
"The Prosecutor’s Office revealed some violations and the investigation is ongoing. There is a contradiction between the Minister of Defence and investigative bodies, also an attempt to politicize this case [has been] obvious during the past few days."
"This is unacceptable for me and negatively affects the working of the Government and the safety of the country,” Prime Minister Garibashvili said.
He emphasized his decision to dismiss Alasania was made to avoid politicization of the Defence Ministry and the Georgian Armed Forces.
The PM said another reason why he decided to fire Alasania was to guarantee the independence of the final investigation into the Ministry of Defence case.
Garibashvili noted that yesterday he had a very sincere meeting with members of the fraction 'Free Democrats' and he did not received argued responses from Alasania to questions he and investigators had on the MoD case.
Prime Minister Garibashvili stressed that the fight against corruption was the one of the Government’s top priorities and "we are and will be uncompromised” in revealing cases of corruption in any ministry.
He assessed Alasania’s statement that charges against the Ministry of Defence were an "attack on Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic choice” as "irresponsible".
"Georgia’s European and Atlantic integration is the choice not only of our Government but of the Georgian people. This process is and will be irreversible,” said PM.
"The European integration of our country does not mean that in the Defence Ministry could possibly be the misspending of four million GEL," he added.
The PM invited all members of the 'Free Democrats' [Irakli Alasania-led party, part of the Georgian Dream coalition] fraction tomorrow to a broader meeting of Georgian Dream coalition political council.
Meanwhile Garibashvili announced Mindia Janelidze, the Secretary of Security and Crisis Management Council, as the next candidate for the post of Defence Minister. Until his approval, the First Deputy Defence Minister Irakli Gegechkori will lead the Ministry.