Defendant: Davit Gareji requires more reflection
Defendant: Davit Gareji requires more reflection

“Unfortunately, the worst thing in this case, in all this filth, is injurious to the interests of the country. We are ruining relations with our partner state,” Iveri Melashvili, an indictee in Davit Gareji Monastery Complex case, said live on TV Pirveli on Thursday.

Iveri Melashvili believes the developments around Davit Gareji are deliberate.

“If you do not want to it deliberately, you can work quietly. If you want to conduct an investigation, there is no need to agitate,” Melashvili said.

Iveri Melashvili said yesterday that it is wrong to start the negotiation process by directly claiming that something is yours. According to him, wrong and spoiling the case.

“What is negotiation? Negotiation is that you start from the beginning, from some stage. You agree on details and slowly follow step by step. When you accentuate and decide it is mine, whatever happens, you must have ground to prove it is yours. It is not right to tell the other side it is yours because some monk or citizen come to pose in front of [Davit Gareji] cells. It is not yours, and they will never give it up. We had a chance before, but you spoil everything, accentuate and make your partner country hostile,” Iveri Melashvili said.

Many comments and speculations followed this statement of Iveri Melashvili that made him comment on Friday.

“What I said yesterday, I said against unpatriotic statements. Some politicians come out, pose at the Monastery and spread ideas, and make unpatriotic statements. Spiritually that is yours, and you want to achieve it, but it has its rules and order. So, we will not achieve anything by the quarrel,” Iveri Melashvili said.

According to him, the statements made about Davit Gareji require more reflection.

“My strategy and evidence are that there is no evidence to the contrary. I have never acted in a harmful way for the country. The prosecution’s accusation, as if we handled 0.34 square kilometers [to Azerbaijan] is a lie. Nothing like that happened. My proof is the truth! These are materials, protocols of the agreement, and what we on the Georgian side have relied on. It is not only Natalia and me, but it is also the approach of our side,” Iveri Melashvili spoke about Davit Gareji Monastery Complex.

Iveri Melashvili and Natalia Ilychova, indictees in the Davit Gareji Monastery Complex case, were released on bail on January 28. The bail was set at GEL 20,000 for each defendant.

The Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia launched a probe against Iveri Melashvili, Head of the Service of Georgian State Border Delimitation, Demarcation and Border Relations of the Department of Neighboring Countries at the Foreign Ministry, and Natalia Ilychova, Chief Inspector of the Land Border Defense Department of the Border Police last year. POG accused them of conspiring to cede lands to Azerbaijan.

POG Investigation found that Melashvili and Ilychova hid the 1938 map and used the 1970-80s maps instead. As a result, Georgia lost 3,500 hectares of land. The hidden 1937-1938 original map was found in Natalia Ilichova’s office, POG noted. Both defendants face imprisonment from ten to fifteen years.