22:41, Tuesday, 14.07.2020
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HRC will monitor hearings of two criminal cases against ex-president Saakashvili and other former senior officials


Human Rights Center will monitor the hearings of the two criminal cases launched against the third president of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili and other former senior officials in the Tbilisi City Court. 

The Tbilisi City Court examines the so-called “coat case” against the ex-president Saakashvili, as he and his supporters ironically call this case. Prosecutor’s office blames Mikheil Saakashvili and former head of the State Protection Service Teimuraz Janashia in the waste of particularly large amount of budget funds. The charge is about the waste of 8 837 461 GEL from the state budget. According to the prosecutor’s office, based on the preliminary agreement between Mikheil Saakashvili and Teimuraz Janashia and according to the former president’s instructions, from September 2009 until February 2013, the former president of Georgia wasted 8 837 461 GEL from the state budget on the services provided to himself and other individuals in Georgia and abroad in secret. Judge Badri Kotchlamazashvili at the Tbilisi City Court examines the case. 

The Tbilisi City Court also examines the criminal case against ex-president Mikheil Saakashvili, which refers to the mass dispersal of demonstrators, break into the TV-Company Imedi and its “misappropriation” on November 7, 2007 that is exceeding of official powers by an official or equal person. Besides Mikheil Saakashvili, that time senior officials were also charged for the same criminal offence – Ivane Merabishvili, Zurab Adeishvili, Davit Kezerashvili and Gigi Ugulava. The criminal case is launched under the Article 333 Part III of the Criminal Code of Georgia that shall be punished by imprisonment from 5 up to 8 years in length. Due to the complexity of the criminal case, the collegium of the Tbilisi City Court examines the case, which is chaired by Judge Nino Eleishvili. 

In both criminal cases, lawyer Beka Basilaia defends the defendants’ interests in the court. 

In the frame of the project Public Events Monitoring, Human Rights Center currently monitors court hearings of 15 criminal cases in the court. Among them, proceeding of one case was finished and the rest 14 continues. The monitoring is focused on the cases where the signs of alleged political motives are identified. The project commenced on February 1, 2020 with the financial support of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and will last until December 31, 2020. 

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