TBILISI, January 1 (RIA Novosti) – Georgia’s Prime Minister, Bidzina Ivanishvili, has announced that the criminal proceedings into former officials will be wound up.
“We must now forgive all those who, willingly or not, participated in this [corrupt] system. We must forgive them and think about something like an amnesty,” Ivanishvili said in his televised New Year’s address.
Soon after Ivanishvili’s Georgian Dream coalition secured victory in the October 1 parliamentary elections, the new government launched criminal investigations into former officials and leading members of President Saakashvili’s United National Movement, accusing them of corruption.
Over the past two months numerous individuals who had occupied key posts – including the former justice, energy, defense, education, and finance ministers – were detained on charges of abusing their authority.
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Any response would likely boomerang on Russia – the partnership between Rosneft and ExxonMobil is a case in point. The United States has hit Russia with a third round of sanctions. This time the Americans went with a higher caliber weapon, targeting Russia’s biggest energy companies (Rosneft and Novatek) and banks (VEB and Gazprombank).