President Saakashvili meets with law-enforcements at the constitutional security department

Welcome everybody

The reason for my coming to the constitutional security department is to thank you on behalf of all Georgia for the historic work you have done.

We inherited a totally ruined law-enforcement structure. You probably remember how much salaries you had, how your chiefs were demanding from you to buy the uniform with your own money, drive your own cars, buy patrol with your own money and at the same time give shares to them.

Consequently, performance was adequate.

The people who worked at the security services, very well remember how Levan Kenchadze collected official weapon from the staff of security services on the pretext that the weapons were old and absolutely useless. These weapons were supposed to be melted at the Rustavi metallurgical factory, however, in reality, all this weapon appeared in the criminals' hands.

The man who did it was the Head of antiterrorist center.

You all very well remember how Georgian law-enforcements were mocked.

The counterintelligence service employees very well know that Georgia was the polygon of different countries' intelligence services for many years, acting freely and absolutely roughly on our territory.

It is quite obvious that these services enjoyed impunity syndrome, but we put an end to it.

We showed to the society that the Georgian law-enforcement agencies are able to protect the public even when the gravest crime is committed. Nowadays there is not actually a single unopened grave criminal case in Georgia. There are no longer the kidnap records in Georgia. We could not even dream about it earlier. With hard work we opened two very serious terrorist acts.

I would like to remember May 10 of this year, when the grenade was thrown at the Freedom Square. Initially, our guests took the responsibility to protect the Freedom Square, thus the Georgian security officers did not have access to that area. But a lot more people came to the Freedom Square than expected by the professionals. When the people broke through the fences, our officers took on the protection of the area where President Bush was to deliver the speech, without arms. Unless your officers had surrounded the area we would have had a rather worse picture. That man would have managed to penetrate the area from where the US President was addressing the public. We still do not realize what we avoided.

I would like to particularly emphasize the heroism of Davit Nadibaidze, the State Security officer. This man on the expense of his life removed with his own hands the grenade from the area.

The number of such heroes has increased in Georgia. For this heroism I would like to thank him on behalf of all Georgia and award him with Vakhtang Gorgasali order.

I would like to particularly emphasize the heroism of our policemen, Zurab Kvlividze, who died only because he obeyed his superior's order to capture the terrorism suspect alive. He performed his duty under the condition when none of the foreign special services could do.

Several days ago, you saw a special operation carried out in England during which the more experienced British policemen shoot six bullets to the knocked down terrorist.

However, as it appeared later they made a mistake.

Risking his life our policeman managed to shoot the terrorist from Makarov pistol not killing him right there.

The reason we captured him alive was not to let anybody then say that he was not a terrorist and we just wanted to cover up the track.

For each case one can find 100 or 150 scoundrels, rogues and idlers who are not even interested in the real circumstances of the case.

There was a lot of attention paid to the "misery" of the suspect's family.

The grenade he threw hit a small boy's hat and there were many other children around, innocent people and your colleagues among them who faced a real threat.

Today I visited the family of Zurab Kvlividze, who saved this criminal on the expense of his own life.

Nobody neither got interested in nor mentioned Kvlividze's mother, wife, children or other members of his family.

Today I apologized Kvlividze's relatives in place of those journalists who filmed these reports and started justifying the criminal's family. I handed over Vakhtang Gorgasali Order to them.

Often we can hear people talking about nationality and ethnic background of this terrorism suspect. Our mass media as well as some politicians keep saying that the suspect is Armenian. They have been putting emphasis that the grenade [he threw at US President Bush on 10 May] was Armenian-made. But I want to tell everyone that Zurab Kvlividze's wife, Svetlana Gadyan, is Armenian too. I repeat, she is of Armenian origin and she is the wife of the hero who sacrificed himself and she has the same origin as the terrorism suspect, but it makes no difference for me. All these people are children of our people and our state.

In the last period a lot of accents are put on Ossetian origin. I would like to tell you that there are Ossetians who blasted police building in Gori and there is Alan Lakoev - one of the most honored pilots of Georgia.

During Abkhaz war Alan Lakoev went to hundreds of battle flights and got many government awards for his incredible heroism. For all this period he devotedly served Georgia, Georgian state, without any hesitation.

May somebody say after all these facts that the problem is in Ossetian origin or Ossetian blood!

Alan is a real man and a real hero of Georgia.

The first patrol policeman who died while protecting public order in Tbilisi was Enver Gutsoev - an ethnic Ossetian.

Among you is Giorgi Khosroev...

After all these facts what kind of Ossetian factor, their criminality or guilt one can speak about?

On the other hand there is Khachapuridze who today makes statement on behalf of a criminal group.

And does somebody want to say that Khachapuridze is a Georgian and Lakoev and Khosroev are not? Khachapuridze is a citizen and they are not?

During Abkhaz war Khachapuridze was involved in crime, while Lakoev was defending Georgia's territorial integrity.

They really differ from each other, though not only by their origin and blood, but by the faith they served Georgia.

Once and for all, everybody should remember that the time when people were asked their ethnicity, when people were measured according to their last names is over.

If somebody hates Armenians, I Mikheil Saakashvili will be an Armenian with him, if somebody hates Ossetians I will be an Ossetian with him. Hates Azeries? - I will be an Azeri, hates Jews? - I'll be a Jew but still I will remain the greatest Georgian because patriotism is not measured by people's origin - but by the efforts of people like you.

I particularly underline this, as I want to particularly underline that in no case we will refuse our peace plan.

Though they have no answer for that.

We translated this peace proposal on several languages and distributed it.

The Georgian state will no longer put up with criminal elements freely roaming uncontrolled zones on its territory, Georgia will no longer put up with this.

I do not want us to use all this against Russia. And I was surprised at some Russian commentators' aggressive reaction to my announcement yesterday.

We are ready to hand over any material to Russian investigative bodies. Let their [Russian] investigators come here and interrogate the detainees themselves. We should cooperate with each other, confrontation between us is not in our interests. Bad relation with Russia is not within our interests, and the existence of such zones is not in Russia's interests either.

We will no longer put up with the existence of such zones, although we are going to solve everything peacefully with full protection of human rights, in accordance with our legislation, by using international levers.

I would like to stress that an antiterrorist center, Vakhtang Zurbaia's special service unit and constitutional arrangement protection department carried out some very interesting operations.

For instance, operations carried out at the tax agencies are unique from its implementation point of view. Nobody can tell that all these operations are invented since everything is shoot and approved.

This is a high-class professionalism. Most of the countries' special services find it difficult to carry out such operations.

As you know soon after detaining tax system employees we detained racket's band that was followed by rallies in the streets.

I think these rallies were more associated with an anticorruption operation rather than with the sportsmen's detention.

The organizers of this rally thought that we offended such "high weighted" people that there has come the time to "overturn" Saakashvili and his team.

Our special operation units wonderfully protected public order, which I myself welcome and consider that the police works brilliantly.

The attitude I displayed towards this issue enraged some people. Bus when the police works brilliantly you must emphasize it and even thank them on behalf of the public.

A clich - rally has been violently raided is being spread. I would like to say that rally is not raided, it is dissolved.

A rally that caused violation of public order and blockage of the roads has been dissolved. We will do it all the time. All the governments do it.

When the aforementioned operation was carried out on such a high level and nobody was injured, that very evening the Israel police by using a bigger force dissolved a much more peaceful rally.

The same thing happened in England - the British police used force against the demonstrators gathered on an unpopulated area.

It's time we got rid of this provincialism. We must protect human rights, but at the same time we must protect the Georgian society.

What the Georgian government is doing now - repairing roads, painting the facades, introducing new transportation means, building new buildings are the result of order.

10 times more work will be done in the years to follow. But if anybody thinks that he would have to do with the frightened government is absolutely mistaken.

Human rights protection is the key issue for us and for our government.

I would like to read the letter written by the most critical and trustworthy international organization Human Rights Watch.

"Human Rights Watch is encouraged by your government's recent steps to stem the use of torture by law enforcement agencies. I wish first to thank your government for the level of cooperation shown. Human Rights Watch commends your government for the recent and significant amendments to the Criminal Procedure Code, including making out-of-court statements inadmissible as evidence unless confirmed in court, and the reduction of pretrial detention time limits. Other positive developments have included an increase in the numbers of police officers prosecuted for torture related crimes or other illegal treatment, and the monitoring system for police stations under the framework of the Public Defender's Office. These are all positive steps and appear to be beginning to reduce the number of complaints of torture in Tbilisi".

I can't recollect this organization giving such a positive evaluation to any country in such a short period. I congratulate you on it. It's a matter of principle for me.

We studied to give evidence without beating people up. I know how difficult it is to do.

Recently, my relative's flat was robbed and the thieves were detained. The owner of the flat was astonished when seeing that two scoundrel thieves were insulting and swearing the three policemen. However, the policemen without paying attention to them carried on their work.

When hearing it I felt aggression towards these thieves. Of course it is very difficult to do and hard to tolerate. But we have to tolerate it. But when an adequate reaction is necessary we must not retreat - force will be opposed by force and the aggression will be prevented.

We have to study this also from the law-enforcement agencies of the civilized countries.

Human rights are one thing, but what has to be protected is another.

We should be able to react adequately and never capitulate.

There are lots of remarks in this letter, which mainly concern the regions, but we will improve it by all means.

I would like to distribute this letter to the heads of the corresponding agencies so that everybody knew our spheres of achievements and failures.

I'm sure if we carry on like this we will reach the top standards. Of course everything does not go well, and I say it openly.

We have learned to suppress grave crimes, however, unfortunately violent crimes and attacks still persist.

Recently I watched the story about businessman Gelashvili on TV, which I consider to be absolutely unacceptable.

We must put an end to street trials and quarrels.

This year we introduced the police force in Batumi as a result of which the situation there has significantly improved.

It is very difficult, but we together with our society must eradicate violence and street quarrels once and for all.

If the patrol police frequently patrols the main roads, if we have more cars and if there are higher salaries we will manage it.

I guarantee you that the salaries would raise. In September we will grant the best patrol policemen apartments and cars.

It is undoubtful that we have lots of work to do in the future.

I'm proud of you. We are the participants of these processes. The public is proud of you and they love you.

A cultural revolution is taking place in our country.

Just look, in summer the students passed exams and there was not a single complaint. Such fact has not taken place since Agha Mahmad Khan concurred Georgia.

Could have anyone ever imagined that the exams will be held in Georgia this way and the people would have ever loved the police?

This psychological barrier really persisted. I was brought up in the family that loved the police. I had the relatives who sacrificed their lives to the fight against thieves. But there was a negative feeling towards the police force in the public.

Now this feeling has absolutely changed. Nobody wanted to be a patrol policeman before, but now there is a big competition.

When we came into power there were 29 officers in the special operation service. Now the figure has reached 50.

The operation carried out by you was a high-class operation.

I know how many weeks this operation has been in preparation, I know how difficult it was to keep it secret and I know for how long we kept it secret after the culprits were detained.

This is exactly what the state is and completely different level of work.

I want to tell you that I'm one of you. With the help of your minister and prosecutor you can address me on any problem. Each of your success is my success and the success of the entire society.

I would do the utmost to make your contribution in the solution of our final goal - to restore territorial integrity of Georgia, to be the most significant.

I count on your support.

Since yesterday I feel calm and safe - We are strong and nobody will defeat us.

Communications Office
of the President of Georgia

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