Please, tell us why you were detained and what charges were brought against you?
I was accused of espionage and military espionage, that is, under two articles - espionage and military espionage. The funny thing is that I was accused of collaborating with the special services of both NATO and the Russian Federation. Such accusations were presented to all, so to speak, politically untrustworthy representatives of the Georgian opposition. But the real motive was a political one: I ventured to make critical statements regarding the Saakashvili regime. I criticized him for his actions during the war, for the bombing of the peaceful city of Tskhinval and for the fact that his actions were unworthy of the title commander-in-chief.
My case is very large and consists of five volumes. Imagine that, five volumes of false materials.
Tell us about your book. Is it true that you have written a book?
Yes, of course. I wrote a book in English, which was to be released by the end of 2009. I personally conducted negotiations in London and Bratislava, so that this book was published. It was a full military and political analysis of the war of August 2008.
Tell us about the very fact of your liberation. How did it happen? What was the reason?
I was released according to the political amnesty passed by the Georgian Parliament at the end of December. President Saakashvili imposed a veto. But the veto was overturned. The veto was called back by the majority of votes in the Parliament of Georgia. And according to this amnesty I was released. Most importantly, the Parliament of Georgia, which consists of 190 people, conferred the status of a political prisoner on me. On account of this status I was released on the basis of political amnesty.
In your opinion, what is the way out of the current deadlock in the diplomatic relations between Russia and Georgia?
I don't know. It is very difficult to say anything at this stage. But I think that the steps that the new leadership of Georgia has already made are possible steps that will help to smooth over the complex relationship that existed between our countries. I think that the current leadership of Georgia is pursuing the right political course.
Economic and cultural ties should be restored. And then it is necessary to establish political relations. But, of course, there must be a consensus on both sides.
What do you think about the current change of power in Georgia? What changes are coming; what are you hoping for?
Major changes are coming. Saakashvili’s totalitarian regime is relegated to oblivion. This is very important, because on October 1, 2012 the people of Georgia made a wise decision. The parliamentary elections in Georgia paved the way for the collapse of the Saakashvili regime. Intensive work is already being carried out in this direction. I believe this is a great success of Georgian democracy. The Georgian people have proved that they have a full right to the very freedom they deserve.
In your opinion, what are the main mistakes of Saakashvili's regime in respect to Russia and in relation to the positioning of Georgia in the international arena?
All of Mikhail Saakashvili’s steps and decisions in the internal politics of Georgia were absolutely wrong because Mikhail Saakashvili instituted a repressive regime. It was the regime of the "Caucasian Pol Pot". In one of my publications I even called Saakashvili the "Caucasian Pol Pot.” The adventurous policy, which Mikhail Saakashvili led at the international level, also proves it.
Mikhail Saakashvili’s militaristic rhetoric and incompetent political decisions drove the country to war. This is the main thing. The fact that the Georgian people have freed themselves from this idol is the most important breakthrough in the development of Georgian democracy. It is a guarantee of strengthening Georgian statehood.
What are you going to do after the liberation?
My discharge was like a second birth because I was on the verge of life and death every day. The thing is that Georgian prison is not a prison, but a concentration camp. It was the Georgian Gulag, which Mikhail Saakashvili had built on the bones of the Georgian people. Many people, even innocent people, perished in this Gulag. And many people still remain there.