Publication: Monitor Volume: 1 Issue: 108

Lt.-General Igor Georgadze, recently dismissed as Georgian State Security chief for plotting to assassinate Eduard Shevardnadze, emerged from his Moscow hideout onto the screen of Russian state television and in the pages of a mass-circulation weekly to attack Georgia’s leader. Georgadze portrayed Shevardnadze as a scheming and corrupt dictator, who will rig the upcoming presidential elections (in which Georgadze’s father runs as a communist candidate) but will after a few years have to leave Georgia. Denying that he or his service had plotted against Shevardnadze’s life, Georgadze said that had he and his officers really done so, he would now be speaking at Shevardnadze’s grave. Georgadze charged that the evidence of state security’s role in the conspiracy against Shevardnadze and in political killings in Georgia had been obtained from arrested officers through torture. Shevardnadze’s office issued a protest against the interviewing of a wanted criminal suspect on Russian TV which caused "bewilderment among Georgia’s people" and indicated that "influential circles" supported the plotters. Russian Foreign Ministry chief spokesman Grigorii Karasin "hoped that the airing of the TV interview will not impact negatively on Russian-Georgian relations." (15)

Although the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office has ordered Georgadze’s arrest at Georgia’s request, Russian authorities appeared in no hurry to actually detain him. First deputy internal affairs minister, General Vladimir Kolesnikov, has issued a statement impugning Georgia’s investigation of the case and demanding from Tbilisi conclusive proof of Georgadze’s guilt as a prerequisite to any move against him by the Russian authorities. (16)

Will Moscow Disappoint Shevardnadze on Abkhazia Too?