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    SHEVARDNADZE DISLIKES ON-GOING MASS ARRESTS OF CORRUPTED OFFICIALS IN GEORGIA

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    TBILISI, April 2, 2004. (RIA Novosti) -- Ex-president of Georgia Eduard Shevardnadze does not like the on-going mass arrests of corrupted officials in power during his term of presidency. He has said this to journalists on Friday, the Novosti-Georgia news agency reports.

    "Proceeding from the democratic principles, I cannot accept such steps of the present leadership of Georgia", Eduard Shevardnadze said. He also criticised the detainment of his son-in-law businessman Gia Dzhokhtaberidze, who owns 51 percent of the mobile communication company Magtikom, one of the largest in Georgia.

    "When we say we are a democratic country, such things are unacceptable. For instance, Akaky Chkhaidze (the former head of the Georgian railway) was captured and now has been released. They say after he has brought three million", Eduard Shevardnadze said.

    "So, if he has appropriated these millions, a duly-established trial should be held. It would make Chkhaidze to pay the three million and sentence him to ten years in prison", the Georgian ex-president said.

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