21 Nov 2019 19:11

Dr. Gaprindashvili's violation of S. Ossetian border is well-planned Georgian provocation - Tskhinval

TSKHINVAL. Nov 21 (Interfax) - The South Ossetian State Security Committee views Georgian doctor Vazha Gaprindashvili's violation of the South Ossetian border as Tbilisi's provocation.

"According to information and objective monitoring data at the disposal of the State Security Committee of the Republic of South Ossetia, the violation of the Republic's border with Georgia committed on November 9, 2019, by Georgian citizen Gaprindashvili Vazha Dzhondoyevich, born on July 26, 1961, was well-prepared and planned in advance, " the State Security Committee said in a statement seen by Interfax on Thursday.

The committee established during the investigation that Gaprindashvili was on a trip abroad vising the Baltic States, including Estonia, in early November. He returned to Tbilisi on November 4 and received his patents at the MediClub Georgia clinic on November 5-8. On November 6, 21,000 lari (525,000 rubles) were transferred to Gaprindashvili's account as part of the Solo premium package at the Bank of Georgia.

"On November 8, in several conversations with his clients, Gaprindashvili said that he would be away from Tbilisi on Saturday and Sunday and would resume seeing his patients only on Monday, November 11," the press service said in the statement, claiming that it has recordings of these conversations.

"Gaprindashvili explained during questioning that he had crossed the border deliberately because he wanted 'to visit the church in the Monaster village,' but failed to describe his religious beliefs and views clearly," the statement said.

Also, according to the security service, Gaprindashvili refused to answer questions about his party affiliation, "saying that he supports Georgia's prompt accession to NATO, views his violation of the state border between the Republic of South Ossetia and Georgia as 'legitimate exercise of a Georgian citizen's right to free travel,' and believes that South Ossetia is 'a Georgian territory occupied by Russia, and Russia is the main enemy of the Georgian state.'"

"At the same time, Gaprindashvili said that, as a Georgian citizen, he reserves the right to criticize any political leadership of Georgia and demand by lawful means that one or another legal act be changed," the statement said.

In light of these facts and "the hysteria in Georgian and Western media outlets" involving the calls for Gaprindashvili's immediate release, "the Committee directly links the provocation to mass protests taking place in Georgia," it said.

The South Ossetian Security Committee said that the attempts of the Georgian opposition, its Western curators, and the authorities in Tbilisi to score political points using Gaprindashvili and put pressure on the South Ossetian authorities in order to improve its domestic rating are futile.

Gaprindashvili was detained by South Ossetian border guards on November 9. The South Ossetian State Security Service said a criminal case on illegal border crossing charges was opened against Gaprindashvili.

Georgian media reported that he had entered the South Ossetian territory to treat a patient.