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Wednesday, September 14, 2005


Georgian MP says government planned assault

From The Messenger:

After two months of treatment in a Vilnius hospital following an attack on him in Tbilisi this July, Republican party member and majoritarian MP from the Khashuri district Valeri Gelashvili returned to Georgia on September 12.

The MP returned to Georgia without his family, because, he says, of safety problems. Nevertheless, he plans to continue his political and business activities in Georgia.

Gelashvili, who has not talked with investigators since his attack, said he would have his first questioning Monday evening.

Gelashivli was flown out of Georgia in a air ambulance after being assaulted by masked assailants carrying weapons. The assailants stopped the car he was driving near the Eliava Bazaar on July 14, smashed the windows and beat up the parliamentarian and his personal bodyguard.

At Monday's press conference Gelashvili claimed that he had recognized one Opel Vectra and one Ford car that had stopped him as belonging to special forces of the so-called seventh department of the Internal Affairs Ministry.

"Everything was planned beforehand. I was driving to my village and they could have made the attack there, but they chose a crowded place because they wanted to teach people a lesson to show that if anybody speaks out they will be beaten like Gelashvili," added the MP.

Shortly before the attack Gelashvili, a self-made businessman who lived in Lithuania until 1997, accused the government of failing to pay for work his construction firm had done on the new presidential palace.

Gelashvili also alleged local doctors conspired with attackers to cover-up the severity of his condition. "They thought I would die after that beating, but I did not," said Gelashvili "so they decided to kill me at the hospital. My lungs were full of water, though doctors claimed the situation was stable. But the doctors who came from Vilnius saved me by taking four liters of water from my lungs before my flight to Vilnius. Otherwise my heart would have stopped three or four hours later," he said.

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