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Last Updated: Friday, 9 January, 2004, 13:22 GMT
Georgia asks for accounts freeze
Shevardnadze outside parliament during protests
Mr Shevardnadze himself is not on the fraud and abuse list
Georgia has formally asked Switzerland to freeze the bank accounts of several officials close to former President Eduard Shevardnadze.

A Swiss Justice Ministry spokesman told Le Temps newspaper on Friday that the list included former ministers and MPs suspected of abuse of office and fraud.

But it did not include Mr Shevardnadze or any of his family members.

The request was made in December, but was returned on Thursday with a request for more details, the official said.

Georgia's newly-elected President Mikhail Saakashvili says he holds former members of the regime responsible for $1.7bn of the country's foreign debt.

Mr Saakashvili told Swiss daily Le Temps this week that he would ask several foreign governments to freeze the accounts which belong to former officials and to Mr Shevardnadze's family members.

He later promised on national television that he would not enrich himself personally while in office and would sell all the weekend cottages or "dachas" belonging to officials.


SEE ALSO:
Lawyer set for Georgia landslide
05 Jan 04  |  Europe
Profile: Mikhail Saakashvili
24 Nov 03  |  Europe
Profile: Eduard Shevardnadze
23 Nov 03  |  Europe
Country profile: Georgia
06 Jan 04  |  Country profiles


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