About Civil.ge
Eng | Geo | Rus
Last updated: 16:32 - 1 Apr.'15
 
RSS
Mobile
Twitter
Facebook
Ex-Defense Minister Akhalaia Acquitted, Remains Detained Pending Separate Trial
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 1 Aug.'13 / 13:27

Ex-defense minister and former interior minister, Bacho Akhalaia, was found not guilty of charges involving exceeding official powers, illegal confinement and torture into three separate cases.

The Tbilisi City Court delivered the verdict on Thursday morning after five months of trial, involving questioning of over 150 prosecution and defense witnesses.

Although Akhalaia has been acquitted of all charges facing in this trial, he still remains in detention as he is standing trial into separate, unrelated cases.

Akhalaia was arrested in early November, 2012 and initially charged with “exceeding official powers” involving an allegation of abuse of soldiers in October, 2011 when he was the defense minister.

He was then charged with “illegal deprivation of freedom” involving an allegation of beating a man and then holding him in illegal confinement for several hours in September, 2011.

Under the torture charges, which were added against Akhalaia in mid-November, he was accused of inhuman treatment of more than dozen of army personnel in February, 2010 when he served as defense minister.

Apart of Akhalaia seven other co-defendants were standing trial into these cases, including former army chief of staff Giorgi Kalandadze, who was also found not guilty.

Other co-defendants were also fully acquitted; only exceptions were former commander of the 4th infantry brigade Zurab Shamatava and former army sergeant Alexandre Gorgadze, who were found guilty of physically insulting soldiers in one case each; both were sentenced to 140 hours of community work, but they were exempted from this punishment because of the amnesty act passed by the Parliament in December.

Prosecutor Irakli Nadareishvili told journalists after the verdict was delivered that the prosecution would appeal it to the higher court.

Bacho Akhalaia is also standing trial into separate case involving charges related to torture, inhuman treatment and abuse of power into the case of alleged mistreatment of seven special task force servicemen in August, 2012 when Akhalaia served as interior minister. The trial is still ongoing.

Akhalai was also charged with abuse of power involving allegations that he beat up several inmates when he served as prison system chief in March, 2006, which led to a riot in the Tbilisi prison No.5 that claimed the life of seven inmates.

Akhalaia denies charges in both of these cases, like he was denying charges into those cases in which he was acquitted on August 1.

After judge Giorgi Darakhvelidze announced the acquittal verdict, the courtroom packed by supporters and family members of defendants, as well as some UNM lawmakers, burst into applause.

Few hours after the verdict was delivered, President Saakashvili received in the presidential palace in Tbilisi former chief of army staff, Giorgi Kalandadze, who was acquitted, and welcomed the court verdict as a “restoration of justice, although with delay.”

In a live televised meeting President Saakashvili told Kalandadze: “I had no doubt whatsoever that you all were innocent. I said it nine months ago when I met you here, but it is regrettable that patriots like you and like those others who were acquitted today had to waste your time [on trial].”

Kalandadze thanked judge Giorgi Darakhvelidze for, as he put it,“not yielding pressure” and for deciding in favor of acquittal.

Latest News
01 Apr.'15 16:32
PM Hits Back at ‘Unjustified’ Criticism from President
Garibashvili said criticism voiced by President was “unjustified, unfair” and “incomprehensible.”
01 Apr.'15 14:12
Ukraine Rejects Georgia’s Request for Extradition of Saakashvili
Ukrainian prosecutor’s office said criminal charges against Saakashvili are politically motivated.
31 Mar.'15 23:36
In State of Nation Address, President Asks Who is in Charge
Margvelashvili delivered his second annual state of the nation address in the Parliament.
31 Mar.'15 13:15
President Delivers State of National Address, Snubbed by Govt
President Giorgi Margvelashvili is delivering his second annual state of the nation address.
31 Mar.'15 11:26
February GDP Growth 4.9% - Preliminary Data
Economy grew 2.7% y/y in the first two months of this year.
30 Mar.'15 17:25
Parliament Bureau Sets Format for President’s Annual Address
President’s state of the nation address will be followed by speeches of chairs of parliamentary factions.
30 Mar.'15 14:28
NATO Envoy: Pace of Implementation of Substantial Package with Georgia ‘Very Good’
Both Georgia and NATO are moving “fast” in this process, James Appathurai said.
28 Mar.'15 19:07
Businessman Fatally Shot in Tbilisi
Khardziani, who was shot several times outside his home in Tbilisi center, died in hospital.
28 Mar.'15 17:14
Usupashvili Calls to Intensify Work of Constitutional Commission
“The goal is to improve the existing constitution and not to adopt a new one,” he said.
27 Mar.'15 17:05
Georgia Appoints New Envoy to NATO
Alexander Maisuradze has replaced Levan Dolidze as Georgia’s ambassador to NATO.

About Civil Georgia
Civil.Ge © 2001-2013, Daily News Online
Registered office: 2 Dolidze Str, 4-th Floor.
60