Int’l criminal case sparks spat between France, Georgia

Int’l criminal case sparks spat between France, Georgia
# 26 September 2012 22:17 (UTC +04:00)
Baku-APA. A senior Georgian official defended his country Wednesday, after the French foreign ministry criticized Tbilisi for disclosing a case that French authorities are probing, APA reports quoting Xinhua.

"We are surprised with the statement of the French foreign ministry," Deputy Justice Minister Tina Burjaliani said.

French diplomatic services were usually not involved in cooperation between law enforcement departments of the two countries, she said.

Georgia’s Chief Prosecutor’s Office announced Tuesday that France was looking into alleged links between ex-Georgian minister Giorgi Khaindrava and France-based Georgian criminal bosses.

The announcement drew a complaint from Paris, with the French foreign ministry criticizing Georgia for releasing what it considered classified information.

The French foreign ministry said French authorities had not authorized the disclosure of the information.

France’s ambassador to Georgia, Renaud Salins, said Wednesday he had discussed the matter with Georgian Prime Minister Vano Merabishvili.

Khaindrava served between 2004 and 2006 as the Georgian state minister in charge of conflict resolution.