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Former Georgian Interior Minister Connected To Prison Scandal Arrested

Bacho Akhalaia
TBILISI -- Georgia's former Interior Minister Bacho Akhalaia has been arrested on abuse of office charges.

Akhalaia's lawyer told journalists in Tbilisi that prosecutors questioned Akhalaia for three hours on November 6 about the "improper treatment of certain individuals."

No additional details were given. Akhalaia is expected to remain in pre-trial detention.

Akhalaia resigned in September, shortly after videos emerged showing prison inmates being beaten and sexually abused by guards.

A guard who said he leaked the videos also claimed that Akhalaia was behind the order to videotape the abuse.

Akhalaia, a close ally of President Mikheil Saakashvili, left Georgia shortly after the country's parliamentary elections October 1.

He reappeared in the country on November 5, saying he is ready to answer what he called the "idiotic" and "absurd" allegations" against him.