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Georgia's Agriculture Minister Temporarily Steps Down

Georgian Minister of Agriculture Davit Kirvalidze (file photo)
TBILISI -- Georgian Agriculture Minister Davit Kirvalidze has temporarily stepped down from his post after several of his ministry’s top officials were detained on corruption charges.

Kirvalidze told journalists in Tbilisi on May 2 that he took full responsibility for what happens in his ministry, and he was stepping aside until the investigation is finished.

Kirvalidze expressed his hope that the investigation will be objective and unbiased.

Several top Agriculture Ministry officials were detained on May 1 after being accused of involvement in financial fraud, negligence, and the embezzlement of 2 million laris ($1.2 million) from the state treasury.