Georgia’s former interior and defence minister has been charged with abuse of power. Bacho Akhalaia was detained on Tuesday. The army’s chief-of-staff and another army commander were also brought in for questioning.
Akhalaia, who quit as interior minister over a prison abuse scandal shortly before the election in which Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili’s coalition ousted Mikhail Saakashvili’s party.
Reacting to news of his former allies’ arrest, Saakashvili described it as a “source of indignation.” “Today we need supremacy of law as never before,” he added.
With Saakashvili’s nine-year dominance of the political landscape over, the opposition also reacted angrily to the abuse of power allegations.
They staged a walkout of parliament in favour of an impromptu press conference, during which they accused the government of sparking a witch hunt in the former Soviet republic.
Tbilisi city court is due to decide on pre-trial detention measures on Friday.