The political processes in the country are diversified. The Georgia and World interviewed Mr. J. Silverman in order to clarify why our strategic partners are observing political traces in the recent arrests and what the evidences and facts actually exist in the case of the former Prime-Minister, Zhvania.
-How do you think why do Mr.Gordon, US State Department, and Mr.Rassmusen talk about political persecution when Bacho Akhalaia and others were arrested? Democracy means full-filling will of the nation. Everyone in Georgia wanted to arrest and even lynch Akhalaia and his friends. So why is Washington talking about the political side of that question? Do you think these people know something that Washington or even personally Mr.Rassmusen is afraid of?
_ Phillip Gordon came here with his eyes wide open, fully aware, and he would have been properly briefed (informed) by the US Ambassador who, as we have seen, has been an almost daily visitor to Ivanishvili and cannot possibly have been taken by surprise by these arrests. I think the message from the Americans is clear: “it’s a dirty job but it’s got to be done – just make sure you do it properly and make it look good”.
As for others, Jose Barroso is just a complete cock who would side (take the side) with the devil if it kept that stupid smug look on his face a while longer, as are the rest of his EPP buddies who keep voting him back in, e.g. Wilfried Martens and not forgetting that the UNM themselves are affiliated to the EPP, as is John McCain’s International Republican Institute, IRI.
I think Mr. Rasmussen was just taken in (fooled) by Saakashvili, to be honest. The NATO Sec. General is naturally more detached from the reality of life in Georgia. Perhaps James Appathurai, Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Political Affairs and Security Policy and NATO Secretary General’s Special Representative for the Caucasus and Central Asia, could have helped him prepare better so I’m sure some questions need to be asked within NATO itself as there was a marked change in tone from Rasmussen after he’d met with Ivanishvili.
I’m sure the Americans know that the really big fish are yet to be fried and the impeachment process has recently been explained by the GYLA (someone must’ve asked them?) but we may have to wait a while before we see any direct moves against Saakashvili and Merabishvili. Pretty soon they’ll be the only ones left anyway, not arrested but under threat. I’m not so sure about Ugulava – I think his little stunt where he tried to gatecrash the ministerial meeting may have moved him up the batting order – and his days may be numbered too!
There’s little doubt that they’re all on the same list – powerful people who thought they were untouchable. They only have such a voice now because they still managed to rig the election somewhat – nobody likes them (except themselves) and the more moderate UNM MPs would do well to distance themselves from them and join the splinter group of independents and think about their own political careers.
What we’re seeing happening is the dissection of a regime which kept themselves and their friends in houses and whores through intimidation, fear, torture, sexual abuse, theft of property, political persecution, corruption, and control of the media… you name it, they did it.
It’s a bit rich of them (arrogant) complaining about getting caught. They are acting as a buntch of cry babies. We have an expression in America: “if you can’t do the time then don’t do the crime.”
I see they’re going to charge Dato Akhalaia in absentia. Do they have family rooms in prison? They’ll need a suite if they can pin anything on Roland – the Godfather of that clan.
Prosecutors Question Tbilisi Vice-Mayor
In televised remarks Ugulava, who is now visiting Italy, condemned, as he put it, “arrest” of his deputy as “political persecution”.
Ugulava, who recently had a verbal altercation with PM Ivanishvili during a government meeting, said that the new government was moving towards “dictatorship.” (the ordinary man on the street with nothing to fear can see that we’re actually moving away from “dictatorship”, but never mind)
“We are entering into a fierce confrontation. This person, I mean the Prime Minister, has decided to attack all those institutions, which are not under his control,” Ugulava said. “There will either be a democratic process in Georgia or we will receive revenge instead of promised welfare. I want to warn him… that this confrontation will damage our country.” (to say nothing of the treacherous activities of Saakashvili this week, in making a fool of the NATO Secretary General and damaging Georgia’s reputation abroad)
“We should sit down at the table and resolve the problems as civilized countries do. But if the government decides to go down the path of political blackmailing and if the government chooses the path of revenge it is a boomerang, which will hit you back; that’s something that needs to be realized well by each and every person who is now involved in this dirty revanchist activity.” (said the revanchist party spokesman)
Philip Gordon, the United States Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Philip Gordon has just arrived in Tbilisi. Fortunately the UNM can’t “get to him first” on this occasion, otherwise we might expect a similar expression of “concern” about “political persecution” to that uttered by Secretary General Anders fogh Rasmussen just a few days ago.
Fortunately too he will have the first-hand appraisal of the US Ambassador to help prepare him for the lion’s den which is the current state of Georgian politics. I suspect that all we will get out of Mr Gordon at the end of this visit, despite the hopes of the lip-quivering UNM and their misguided supporters, will be a diplomatic “carry on as you are”.
Cleaning up the country after the excesses of the previous government was always going to be a messy business, and they were bound to cry foul in order to try and save their sorry hides. We just have to accept that, and move on.
_ What do you think about Mr. Merabishvilis false passport case?
_ The question is his motivations – as it is doubtful if he needs a second passport, especially a Georgian one. I am fairly confident he has at least one or two foreign passports in case he has to run away. He can always run to Russian – and without passport. It is more likely, however, that this incident was done in order to distract the public attention from more serious problems, like ongoing investigations into unsolved murders.
_ How did you find out about Mr. Zhvanias death?
I was living in Georgia at the time and was shocked of what happened like everybody else. Soon it was clear that has been a massive cover-up, destruction of evidence – and this has been done on the highest level. Many examples can be found in other countries of Prime Ministers dying prematurely in office. Most of these deaths can hardly be considered accidents. In the case of Zurab Zhvania, I suggest that there is more to the matter than the official record shows – or will ever show!
I was provided three names, professional killers – which may have been involved in the actually murder. I gave these to both the US Embassy and the Human Rights Center here in Tbilisi. It is now left to the Georgian government to investigate the case to the end.
_ When you began to investigate that case and why?
As a journalist you want to know everything, and it was more just keeping up with the news. I had been investigating in 2003 all his connections with activities in Adajara for the International Crisis Group, ICG, out of Brussels, and often his name came up. It was for this reason that I was not surprised to hear of his gassing/murder. I was working undercover at the time for Damien Helly, project director, for the Brussels-based International Crisis Group, trying to determine what was going to happen next in Adjaria. From this work, and questions provided over the years I understood why Zhvania was a liability for some special interests, including those of the United States.
_ What kind of information you’ve got from it investigation?
The names of those who may have actually been involved in the murder from intelligence sources in Porti and Adjara, who had links to Salford Georgia, and ties to Russian banks of various players at the time, such as David Halvashi, (Kelpeta), Head of Security for Aslan Abadaedze, and learned about connections to Dato Akalaia, who had been assigned as the Presidents special representative to Ajaria, for the Sarpi Customs and border crossing.
I was collecting information from both Batumi and and Poti sources, (police intelligence, Roman Romanadze, and intelligence sources, Irakli Tsitshvili, or something like). Sorry, I am bad with Georgian names. My sources and others close to what was happening in this period are well-known to those in the Georgian and Russian intelligence community. They are well-equipped to provide first hand information. Let me say this much, the former head of emergency situations was killed by the same people as were involved in the murder of the Georgian PM, as was one or two petty drug dealers who Aslan Abshadze contacted to kill – who had been selling drugs to his son.
Other investigators, and not just me, have information of FBI involvement in the case and names of contract killers. These three names have been provided to the US Embassy. The cover-up is worse than the crime. Never mind the Iranian heater and who came up with that cock-and-bull story; look to the US Embassy for the hard answers.
_ How do you think why was Mr. Zhvania so dangerous for somebody [those who ordered it] who killed him?
He was most dangerous for US and NATO plans for Georgia. Zhvania was not a very likable character – and one associate wrote me at the time “he was a classic career politician who carried heavily all the baggage adherent to his chosen profession. He was pretty much a shit, in other words, among those in political circles. If he had one saving grace it was his consistent belief in the value of stability and statehood.” Ironically enough, many in Georgia, including myself, think it was this issue – his preserve-stability-at-all-costs stance – that got him killed. He could have united Georgia brought stability and helped to transform Georgia into a normal country.
His biggest mistake, however, was setting up a “government-inside-the government” and his own loyal people were being placed in all key agencies after the 2003 Rose Revolution. As long as he knew more than the top leadership and could prevent certain games from being played, he was a serious threat to the “New Great Game.” Keep in mind that there would have never been the war in South Ossetia if he had remained in a key position, Georgia would not have been used to transit weapons and drugs in support of US proxy wars in Africa and elsewhere. He was much too clever, and that is why he is dead – and he was also too cunning to be fooled by anyone. Many in Georgia “did not like” Zhvania’s call for negotiations with Abkhazia and South Ossetia. He was on talking terms with former Ajarian leader Aslan Abashidze. He also supported a troop withdrawal from South Ossetia in August 2004.
_ Why FBI is covering this case?
Its direct involvement, and if the truth came out it would be a major foreign policy blow to the United States and the failed policies of the George W. Bush Administration. The FBI helped come up with a make believe story of the gas poisoning and was involved in the PR for both the domestic and international media. Keep in mind that Zviadi worked for Georgia, and wanted to conduct his foreign policy was not one to bowl down before anybody.
As my sources tell me, as to the FBI involved in covering the case, Bryan Paarmann, and I don’t even have this fully translated, but will give it to you as I have it. I have also spoken to some of those who were romantically involved with the FBI agent in question – and their information confirms what I already knew. I was also in a bar fight with this agent’s bodyguard over what I knew about the agent and the cover-up. That is another story but they know that I know what happened. Anyway, both him and Bryan Paarmann had to depart Georgia soon thereafter.
I first met Bryan Paarmann when I was in one of the bars in Saburtalo with my friends in Summer, 2004. He was working in Georgia that time.
I had my friends from Moscow visiting Tbilisi. They wanted to see some interesting and special places. We went to Avtograph striptease-bar where we met Bryan. He was alone, standing at the bar and after giving talked with our friends, he invited us to bear. I was translating their conversation as my friends did not know English well.
Then he gave us his cell-phone number; we contacted him several days ago, and we met again.
We talked over the phone and met several times. The relationship did not have a tinge of seriousness. We thought he was joking about being the FBI agent; we even insisted on showing us the FBI badge and reiterated phrases from American films, such as – I am a FBI agent, you are arrested, etc.
However, when Mr. Zhvania died, I saw him on TV commenting the case as the FBI agent working in Georgia. He was explaining that the cases of gas poisoning were rather frequent even in the country like the United States.
After my friends and I had seen him and heard his comments, we contacted him. He met with us once. I told him that the details of Mr. Zhvaia’s death were very ambiguous and suspicious, and that there existed a lot of unanswered questions in the case. I do not exactly remember the arguments I provided; however, he told me that I was too young, even a child, and that I was not ale to understand such things…his arguments and answers were similar to those made on TV. Though, when I bluntly told him what many people were talking about including the suspicions I got a little scared because I knew what he was and where he worked. Hence, I decided to lease him and I said that his comments were much more convincing than those of the Minister of Internal Affairs, Mr. Merabishvili. He was very pleased. We continued our relationship for a while, but after having found out that I started my work as a journalist he never contacted me.
Sooner or later all would have come out how the US government funded and set up the Karma movement, trained the so-called young people. The US government was fighting a dirty war via Georgia in the early 2000s – Pankisi Gorge as a base camp for fighter against Russia and USG funded NGO community and financial organizations were involved. To have a practical PM in power was threatening to both the US, Saakashvili (and his cronies) – and Zhvania had the potential to open up a very big can of worms of all what was transpiring at the time, weapons to drug swaps, how the heroin highway out of Afghanistan was being paved through Georgia, a bio weapons programs being set up in Georgia, both in Adajria and Tbilisi. Zhvania would never have tolerated this – not because of it being morally wrong but because it was not in the best interest of Georgia and he would not allow Georgia to be used.
_ how you found out about people who complied Zhvanias murder and what do you know about them?
They are directly linked to Vano Merabishvili, his former wife and the inner circle of Aslan Abაshიdze, all three are from Adjaria. When I mention the so-called inner circle, I am also saying that of Aslan’s wife, her brother, the former vice Mayor of Moscow and the Oil Facilities in Batumi. I suggest you ask the US Embassy why they have not shared those names with Georgian investigators. I understand why the HR Centre has not, they too are a bit scared. I told them not too until such time as I am safe, and to hold them in case something happens to me.
_ There are lots of people saying that there is a video-tape where is captured Zhvanias murder how you think does it really exist and if yes why?
I have my doubts, and if it did exist – it would be soon found and destroyed, or the people who have it put in the position that they were be too fearful to expose it. I doubt if there is any such tape, as if so, it would have already been leaked. The top people from the government would have escaped or holed up in a cave someplace hiding out.
_ How you think Ivanishvili government would do everything to make this case clear?
First thing is to talk about it and reopen the investigation, and the media climate has already improved, and this is clear that this article is being printed. Before the recent elections it would not be possible, and even if the material was printed there would be no follow-up. The government has already made some major correct steps in regard to Dato Akalaia, and arresting others in this clan, as much information will be exposed that will be “actionable” intelligence – and may result in the opening of several criminal cases, not only in terms of Zurab Zhvania. However, there are some limitations, as Georgia has to balance its national security interests with the need to find those that who are responsible for murdering a Prime Minister.
The Georgian authorities and Bryan FBI agent called the death accidental. Zhvania’s younger “friend,” his host for the evening, also died in the fatal “leak from a faulty Iranian heater.” Firstly, I think the new government must apologize to Iran over designating the deadly beast in question as as a “badly installed Iran-made heater” or an “Iranian heater that was recently installed ignoring safety codes.
It is interesting” whenever it was a Georgian official speaking, they inevitably bring up the fact that the heater was from Iran. Even back then it appeared that they were on the payroll of George W. Bush and “milking the divine opportunity to subliminally paint Iran in a bad light.” The new GoG needs too to look into the allegeded murder attempt on the like of George Bush, as that is linked to the same FBI agent that was involved in the Zurab Zhvaia coverup.
They have all been trying that age old Georgian game of plant-a-villain, which Joseph Stalin particularly excelled at. Knowing Georgian mentality, the purpose was for the entire population to howl and snarl: “Russia!” “Iran” … upon hearing of the PM’s untimely death, they could have popped the concept of another potential bad guy into the national consciousness, and thus staved off the inevitable collective howl of and instead – to say “lets wait a minute – what is going on here and who is really responsible for the death of the PM?”
Interviewed by Maia Chubinishvili