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Georgia: Alasania Condemns ‘Robbery Attack’ On Ivanishvili’s Bank Cash Van

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(Civil.Ge) — Seizure of cash belonging to billionaire-turned-politician Bidzina Ivanishvili’s Cartu Bank by the police was “a robbery attack”, which shows that the authorities are “scared” of a strong political opponent, Irakli Alasania, leader of opposition Our Georgia-Free Democrats party, said.

“The fact that the authorities are scared was demonstrated in today’s robbery attack on Cartu Bank’s cash van,” Alasania said.

Late on Tuesday afternoon Cartu Bank’s cash-in-transit vehicle was stopped by the police, which arrested several bank employees accompanying the vehicle and seized the cash. The Interior Ministry said in a brief statement that several individuals with “especially large amount of cash” were arrested in connection to money laundering. No other details were provided.

“It was a move by scared, desperate authorities; it was a demonstration of extremism by the authorities,” Alasania told Georgian Public Broadcaster late on Tuesday night.

Alasania met with Ivanishvili twice since the billionaire philanthropist announced about his intention to form a political party to run in the next year’s parliamentary elections..

Alasania also said that a decision to revoke Ivanishvili’s Georgian citizenship was also part of the authorities’ campaign to bar the opponent from the political processes. He said that he would raise all these issues when he meets on October 19 with U.S. Deputy Secretary of State, William J. Burns, who visits Tbilisi as part of his South Caucasus trip.

Alasania also said that Ivanishvili had turned into an important factor in the Georgian politics; he said Ivanishvili’s decision to go into politics was “very courageous” and described him as “a reliable partner.”

He also said he had “a full concurrence in opinions” with Ivanishvili on all the key issues, including on foreign policy priorities, which includes turning Georgia into “a full-fledged member of the European family.”

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Civil.Ge

Civil Georgia is a daily news online service devoted to delivering quality news and analysis about Georgia. Civil.Ge is run by The UN Association of Georgia, a Georgian non-governmental organization, in frames of ‘National Integration and Tolerance in Georgia’ Program financed by USAID. Civil Georgia is also supported by Friedrich Ebert Stiftung.

One thought on “Georgia: Alasania Condemns ‘Robbery Attack’ On Ivanishvili’s Bank Cash Van

  • October 19, 2011 at 7:06 am
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    I was truly shocked when I read about this.

    I hope the US Deputy Secretary of State has a very good answer as to why the Government can be allowed to carry out a politically motivated armed robbery on a bank van. I think we need to hear something from the Americans about what is going on in Georgia – absolutely disgusting tactics being employed by the government.

    This is turning into a political civil war and, if it doesn’t get sorted out soon it may turn into something more. I suspect the government are trying to push Ivanishvili into fighting fire with fire… and then they’ve got him. While he plays by the rules and remains squeaky clean he’s got them quivering – and perhaps he is winning by getting Saakashvili mob to commit crimes like this.

    So much for trying to “reach out” to Vano Merabishvili, huh?

    Surely what Saakashvili is engaging in now is an abuse of power and damaging to the Georgian economy. Who in their right minds would want to invest in a country where the government robs banks?

    “IF” they have any concrete evidence that Ivanishvili’s group have been involved in money laundering then, surely, the next step would be to bring charges against him and throw him in prison? In this case he should be VERY WARY of any invitations from any member of the government to come for talks – look what happened to Rony Fuchs.

    Reply

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