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Court Passed Non-Guilty Verdict on Nika Gvaramia and Aleksandre Khetaguri


Salome Chkheidze

On November 14, Tbilisi City Court finished discussion of the cases on Nika Gvaramia, director general of Rustavi 2 and co-defendants in the same case. Judge Besik Bugianishvili passed non-guilty verdict on them and found the defendants innocent in all accusations.

On November 14, the trial started with the remark of prosecutor Revaz Bagashvili. The prosecutor repeatedly underlined the case materials and said Giorgi Nemistsveradze followed instructions of Nika Gvaramia; the allegation is proved with the fact that Gvaramia’s assistant helped him to register L&M Service. Later, Gvaramia’s lawyer, assistant and driver accompanied Nemsitsveradze to get money from the L&M Service bank account.

“Nemsitsveridze was bailiff of the Supreme Court; he did not have relevant expertise to conduct evaluation work for the companies subordinated to the InterRaoES and receive relevant reimbursement for that. So, in exchange of the implemented job, transaction of the money to his account as reimbursement was method to legalize the bribe money,” Revaz Gabashvili said. 

After this remark, the defendants made final statement. Nika Gvaramia said the prosecutor’s office was incompetent and politically motivated. “Nothing proves that Devi Kandelaki and I agreed to resolve problem under protection of Khetaguri. Neither Khetaguri requested bribe and nobody accepted the bribe at all. It was friendly cooperation. Even my biggest opponents have never blamed me in bribery and it is shameful that this case is politically motivated. I think I was main target in this case but not as Nika Gvaramia but as director general of Rustavi 2. However, I want to tell you that I am ruling the TV-Company abstractedly and nobody will ever oppress me with the threat of imprisonment,” Nika Gvaramia said.

After the final statement, judge left courtroom to make decision and returned twenty minutes later. According to the judgment of the Judge Besik Bugianashvili, Nika Gvaramia, Aleksandre Khetaguri, Devi Kandelaki, Ashot Manukyan, Kakhaber Damenia, Izabela Gutidze and Giorgi Nemsitsveradze were found non-guilty. The judge also concluded that former defendants will have their money, paid for the bail, recovered within one month term. Sequestration on properties of Nika Gvaramia and Kakhaber Damenia and on L&M Service will be canceled. 

Ex-minister of Justice and Education Nika Gvaramia was accused of accepting bribe, legalization of illegal revenues and use of faked tax documents. Co-defendants in the same case were former minister of energy Aleksandre Khetaguri; he was accused of accepting bribe, legalization of illegal revenues and abuse of professional power. 

According to the investigation, Gvaramia was trustee of Aleksandre Khetaguri in “development and implementation of concrete criminal scheme.”

According to the investigation, Gvaramia asked his friend Giorgi Nemsistsveridze to establish Ltd L&M Service and later 1 million USD was transferred to the bank account of this company from the aforementioned companies for the alleged consulting service. Allegedly, Nemsitsveradze assigned the money to Nika Gvaramia. 

Nika Gvaramia did not plead guilty and claimed the accusation was politically motivated.
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