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Police Arrest Alleged Assailants of MP

Police arrested on November 27 three young men suspected of beating up Merab Khurtsidze, a lawmaker from the opposition parliamentary faction, Our Georgia, the Interior Ministry said.

The Interior Ministry has already released a taped video confession wherein one of the suspects explains what happened. He says that while trying to thumb a lift, a car pulled over and a man jumped out and started swearing at him and his two friends. This precipitated the assault, the suspect says.

MP Merab Khurtsidze, however, said earlier: ?They [his assailants] stopped my car and immediately started to verbally insult me and then attacked me.?

Khurtsidze, who has kept a low profile in Parliament, quit the ruling National Movement party and joined Our Georgia faction in October.

The party is led by MP Valeri Gelbakhiani, who said on November 26 that it would represent business tycoon Badri Patarkatsishvili?s political interests. Gelbakhiani arranged on November 26 formal procedures needed for Patarkatsishvili to become an official presidential candidate. 

Gelbakhiani said that the attack on his colleague was ?a political reprisal? by the authorities.

Meanwhile, acting President Nino Burjanadze praised the Interior Ministry for, as she put it, its immediate response to ?a very unpleasant incident.? 

?As usual, the authorities were blamed for this,? Burjanadze said at a session of the National Security Council. ?I want to stress that as a result of active measures undertaken by Mr. Merabishvili [the interior minister] and his ministry the case has been resolved quickly and the attackers have been arrested.?

This post is also available in: ქართული (Georgian) Русский (Russian)


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