About Civil.ge
Eng | Geo | Rus
Last updated: 16:58 - 16 Feb.'18
Merabishvili Sentenced in Case over Break Up of 2011 Protest
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 27 Feb.'14 / 15:57

Vano Merabishvili seen behind defendant’s cell in a courtroom in Tbilisi on February 27. Photo: InterPressNews

Tbilisi City Court found ex-interior minister Vano Merabishvili guilty of exceeding official powers in case related to break up of protest rally in Tbilisi in May, 2011 and sentenced him to 4 years and 6 months in jail.

The judge ruled that nine months spent by Merabishvili in pre-trial detention before the final verdict was announced on February 27 should form part of the punishment, meaning that Merabishvili’s remaining prison term will be 3 years and 9 months – less than his prison term imposed by the court in a separate, unrelated trial against ex-PM Merabishvili ten days ago.

Merabishvili’s defense lawyer, Giorgi Chiviashvili, said that the verdict will be appealed to higher court. “Regrettably the court failed to withstand pressure,” he said.

Prosecution argued that Merabishvili, who was interior minister in 2011, ordered “punitive” operation against anti-government demonstrators, led by Nino Burjanadze, with the use of excessive force on the night from May 25 to May 26 in 2011. Defense claimed that isolated cases of excessive force used by police against protesters had nothing to do with Merabishvili’s order to disperse demonstration to pave the way for holding of a military parade next morning to mark the Independence Day.

Judge of Tbilisi City Court, Khatuna Kharchilava, found Merabishvili guilty of exceeding official powers “with use of violence” and found not guilty of another charge involving exceeding powers “with insult of victim’s dignity.” Original sentence delivered by the judge was six-year prison term, but it was truncated to 4 years and 6 months as a result of amnesty act adopted by the Parliament in December, 2012.

“This verdict is for hundreds of those citizens who suffered from police violence on May 26, 2011,” prosecutor Natia Mezvrishvili said after the verdict was delivered.

Meanwhile outside the Tbilisi City Court scuffle erupted between activists from two opposing groups – supporters and opponents of Merabishvili, who were rallying in anticipation of the verdict; several people were detained by the police.

Merabishvili also faces criminal charges, involving alleged abuse of office, in connection to Sandro Girgvliani murder case in 2006; prosecutors accuse Merabishvili, who at the time was the Interior Minister, of series of premeditated actions aimed at covering up evidence in an attempt to obstruct justice into this murder case. Merabishvili denies these charges too.

Latest News
16 Feb.'18 16:58
Government Unveils New Tax Initiative for Small Businesses
According to the initiative, tax rates for small businesses will decrease fivefold.
16 Feb.'18 15:06
Georgian Economy Minister Visits Azerbaijan
Kumsishvili attended the Fourth Ministerial Meeting of Southern Gas Corridor Advisory Council. 
15 Feb.'18 17:39
Independent Agency to Investigate Crimes Committed by Law Enforcement Officers
The agency will be established in 2019, and will replace the Office of Personal Data Protection Inspector.
15 Feb.'18 11:53
Parliament Renews Discussions on Controversial Amendments to Broadcasting Law
New regulations expanding GPB’s powers triggered controversy within the ruling Georgian Dream party.
14 Feb.'18 15:57
U.S. Intelligence on Georgia’s Foreign Threats, Domestic Politics
Office of the Director of National Intelligence published its Worldwide Threat Assessment report for 2018.
14 Feb.'18 14:34
Minister Reports on Defense Reforms to Parliament
Training programs, total defense concept and budgetary priorities among the issues listed by Levan Izoria.
14 Feb.'18 11:36
The Weekly Tripwire - Issue 26
Civil.ge’s news digest covering developments in Abkhazia and Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia.
14 Feb.'18 10:56
Appellate Court Upholds Church Murder Plot Verdict
Archpriest Giorgi Mamaladze was sentenced to nine years in prison by the Tbilisi City Court.
13 Feb.'18 17:14
Georgian FM Visits Kuwait for Ministerial Meeting against Terrorism
Mikheil Janelidze met with Kuwaiti Prime Minister Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah.
13 Feb.'18 11:28
Georgia’s Foreign Trade in January 2018
Trade deficit figure stands at USD 0.37 billion.

About Civil Georgia
Civil.Ge © 2001-2018, Daily News Online
Registered office: 2 Dolidze Str, 4-th Floor.