Former Georgian defense minister arrested on return to country
|Publisher||Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty|
|Publication Date||20 November 2012|
|Cite as||Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Former Georgian defense minister arrested on return to country, 20 November 2012, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/50b4d0eb23.html [accessed 21 September 2014]|
November 20, 2012
By RFE/RL's Georgian Service
Former Georgian Defense Minister Irakly Okruashvili
TBILISI – Former Georgian Defense Minister Irakly Okruashvili is now under arrest in Tbilisi after spending the last five years abroad.
Georgian Justice Minister Tea Tsulukiani told journalists that Okruashvili returned home on November 20 from a European country "with an intention to prove his innocence."
Tsulukiani added that "although courts in Germany and France found Okruashvili was politically persecuted, it is not possible to lift all charges against him immediately."
Okruashvili left Georgia in 2007 after investigations were launched into allegations of bribe taking and the formation of an illegal armed group.
He was later tried in absentia and sentenced to 11 years in prison.
Okruashvili's return to Georgia comes days after the country's new government launched investigations against a number of former Interior Ministry officials.
With reporting by apsny.ge