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    GEORGIA PROSECUTOR GENERAL'S OFFICE LAUNCHES CRIMINAL CASES AGAINST ADZHARIAN GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS

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    TBILISI, MARCH 16 (RIA NOVOSTI) - The Georgian Prosecutor General's Office has initiated criminal cases against high-ranking figures in the government of Adzharia (Georgia's autonomy), Georgian Prosecutor General Irakly Okruashvili told a news conference in Tbilisi.

    "On article 'attempted violation of territorial integrity' of the Georgian Criminal Code the office has initiated criminal cases against Soso Gogitidze, State Security Minister of Adzharia, David Bakuridze, deputy Minister of the Interior of Adzharia, and Tariel Khalvashi, head of the administration of Kobuleti," he said.

    "As regards Dzhemal Gogitidze, Interior Minister of Adzharia, there are problems regarding his deputy's immunity," Okruashvili said.

    He explained that Dzhemal Gogitidze enjoys deputy immunity. "Certain procedures are to be passed for putting him on search," Okruashvili added.

    The above-mentioned persons will very soon be put on the international wanted list, he said.

    The prosecutor general rejected reports by some Georgian media that the Prosecutor General's Office has launched criminal cases against Adzharian head Aslan Abashidze and his son Georgy Abashidze, mayor of Batumi.

    "Criminal cases have not been initiated against Aslan and Georgy Abashidze. The Adzharian leader still has a chance, which the mayor of Batumi, Georgy Abashidze, has not," Okruashvili said.

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