TBILISI — Georgia's interior minister defended the arrests of a raft of former state officials since the new government took power, responding to concerns raised by Europe and the United States of a political witch-hunt.
More than 20 ex-officials have been arrested and some charged with abuse of power since a coalition led by billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili, who is now prime minister, ousted the party of President Mikheil Saakashvili in an Oct. 1 election.
Interior Minister Irakly Garibashvili denied the arrests were part of a settling of political scores.
"Not a single arrest has been carried out because of political motives. We are restoring justice and telling the truth to our society with each of these arrests," the minister said.