PM Kvirikashvili thanks Georgian police for “preventing terrible disaster”

Giorgi Kvirikashvili, Prime Minister of Georgia. Photo by the PM's press office., 13 Feb 2017 - 18:44, Tbilisi,Georgia

Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili has thanked Georgian law enforcement officers for preventing a "disaster” from happening after police detained an archpriest for allegedly planning to murder a high-ranking clergyman of the Georgian Orthodox Church.

Kvirikashvili issued a special statement earlier this afternoon.

"First and foremost, we have all averted a terrible calamity – a treacherous attack on the Church, an act against our country, has been prevented”, Kvirikashvili said.
"I would like to thank law enforcement agencies who acted promptly and delivered us from this dire [situation] effectively and quietly”.

The Prime Minister said that since he was first briefed by the relevant law enforcement agencies on the situation, he has been maintaining "personal control” over this issue and continuously receives updates.

"Given the extraordinary nature of this situation, I delegated my personal security detail to Berlin, together with the Head of the Special State Protection Service, to ensure additional security measures on the spot”, Kvirikashvili said.

He believes that it is imperative to ensure a thorough and professional investigation into this case.

Patriarch Ilia II was in Germany receiving medical attention when a clergyman of the Georgian Orthodox Church was arrested at Tbilisi International Airport and discovered in possession of the poisonous substance, cyanide.

The Patriarch underwent a laparoscopic gallbladder surgery at a prestigious Berlin clinic earlier this afternoon.

"Most importantly, according to doctors, the operations proved successful and the Patriarch is feeling well. I sincerely wish him a speedy recovery and many days [of health] for the benefit of our people and country”, the Prime Minister said.

He added that before participating in the Munich Security Conference on February 17-19, he intends to arrive in Germany earlier than planned in order to visit the Patriarch in Berlin.

In parallel to the Patriarch’s surgery, a special briefing was held in Tbilisi, where the Georgian Chief Prosecutor said an archpriest was detained at Tbilisi International Airport, who intended to leave for Germany and murder a high-ranking clergy member of the Georgian Orthodox Church with the poisonous substance cyanide.