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Supreme Court upholds guilty verdict against Vano Merabishvili
18:31 01-11-2017
Supreme Court upholds guilty verdict against Vano Merabishvili The Supreme Court denied the cassation complaint of former PM Vano Merabishvili’s lawyer in the case of assault on MP Valeri Gelashvili.

According to the press service of the Chief Prosecutor's Office, the Court thus upheld the decision of Tbilisi Court of Appeals of February 23, 2017, which found Ivane Merabishvili guilty.

“The Court established that on June 29, 2005, Valeri Gelashvili’s (member of the Parliament of Georgia by then) article under the title of ‘Valeri Gelashvili Shall Cede his House to Mikheil Saakashvili’ was published in the Resonance newspaper. In the mentioned article, Valeri Gelashvili expressed his discontent with the acting president for the reason that he was deprived of his property without being paid anything in recompense. In the same article, he discussed the private life of former President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili in offensive manner.

After publishing the article, for the purpose to make an example of Valeri Gelashvili, Mikheil Saakashvili instructed Irakli Okruashvili, the Minister of Defense by then, to physically abuse Valeri Gelashvili in retaliation, though received a negative response. Thereby, Mikheil Saakashvili tasked Ivane Merabishvili, the Minister of Internal Affairs by then, to physically abuse Valeri Gelashvili.

After receiving the assignment, Ivane Merabishvili, under the organization of Director of Special Operative Department (SOD) Erekle Kodua subject to him, ensured to precisely execute the task given by Mikheil Saakashvili, which was carried out on July 15, 2005. Operative officers of SOD and members of Armed Special Forces Unit blocked the car driven by Valeri Gelashvili, in Tbilisi on Mirtshkhulava street, after which they attacked Valeri Gelashvili and people accompanying him. Under the instruction of Erekle Kodua and guidance of head of SOD division Giorgi Siradze, the members of the Special Forces Unit took Valeri Gelashvili from the car together with his accompanying persons forcibly and by threatening with firearms, beat him severely with the butts of firearms and had unlawfully took from him the ‘Heckler Koch’ firearm being in legal ownership of Valeri Gelashvili, money - 10 000 USD and ring, valued for 50 000 GEL. As a result of beating, Valeri Gelashvili suffered grave bodily injuries. As a result, Merabishvili has been sentenced to 6 years and 9 months in jail according to the absorption principle”, says the statement of the Prosecutor’s Office.

It is noteworthy that former President MIkheil Saakashvili’s case is also being considered on its merits at Tbilisi City Court. Saakashvili is charged with organizing the assault on Valeri Gelashvili and faces prison term from 3 to 10 years if convicted.

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