Friday, October 30, 2009

Bitsadze says survived an assasination attempt by Saakashvili, "one more minute and it would have turned out very badly"

ბიწაძე ამბობს, რომ სააკაშვილის ბრძანებით დაგეგმილ თავდასხმას გადაურჩა "წუთიც და იქ ძალიან ცუდი ფაქტი მოხდებოდა"

From Georgian daily "Rezonansi," by Tamta Karchava

Badri Bitsadze [former Chief of Border Police and husband of opposition leader Nino Burjanadze] accuses the government authorities for making an attempt on his life. According to Bitsadze, on October 27, after leaving TV company "Maestro," his car was followed by three black SUVs. The cars stopped by Vakhushti Bridge and were preparing to stage an incident, according to Bitsadze, when he made the decision to return to "Maestro." Bitsadze was a guest on "Cell #5" [an opposition TV talk show starring Giorgi Gachechiladze, famous musician and brother of opposition leader Levan Gachechiladze, who has sworn to stay in his "cell" while Saakashvili remains president of Georgia]. The main topic of discussion concerned the government's hand in the bombing of Tskhinavli and the current situation in Pankisi Gorge.

Badri Bitsadze: At 12:30, I left TV company "Maestro." The moment I set foot out of theat studio, three black SUVs began to tail me. They tried to stage an incident at the start of Vakhushti Bridge.

Rezonanshi: Why do you think they were tailing you?

BB: One more minute and it would have turned out very badly. Two cars were in front of us, one in back, but we knew something was up and we turned around. The cars scattered--that's always a sure sign. I know Saakashvili all too well and most likely, after hearing what I had to say that night, he issued an order for me to be punished.

R: What was it that you said that angered the authorities?

BB: I said the truth, about what I know, and what I have seen with my own eyes. I talked about Tskhinvali and also Pankisi. I talked about the possibility of terrorists crossing into the Pankisi Gorge. As for Tskhinvali, I said that the war could have been avoided if Saakashvili weren't president, and I know that this angered him. I said that Saakashvili was preparing for this war.

R: Did you confront them?

BB: No.

R: Why not?

BB: Because there were two police patrols lying in ambush and they were keeping an eye on the scene. They know that I have the right to carry a gun and that I'm a more than qualified to handle it. That's why they want to shoot me. For them, the life of a person is nothing. They would kill one of their hired men and then blame it on me. That's what they wanted to do this time, but it didn't work out. The two cars which were driving in front of me blocked the bridge, the third was behind me. At that moment, I made the decision not to continue and turned around and headed back to the TV studio. It seems that they became confused. It took them a long time to decide what to do. . They came back for me, but by then I was already in the TV studio.

R: When you got back to the TV studio, they came back for you?

BB: Yes. They came up to the TV studio, but there were people waiting for them. They realized that it wasn't going to work out and they left. I want to tell these people that it would be best for them to forget about shadowing me.

R: Approximately how many people were in the car?

BB: It had tinted windows and I couldn't see if they were masked or not. In the two cars in front, there were four people in each. I don't know how many people were in the car behind me. I'm certain that they would have been armed. I know Saakashvili's character, and while he was watching the broadcast, I know that he gave the order.

R: What order did he give?

BB: An order for my punishment, of course.