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Criminal case launched against Mikheil Saakashvili, Ivane Merabishvili, Giorgi Ugulava, Zurab Adeishvili, and Davit Kezerashvili

20.07.2020

Human Rights Center is monitoring the criminal case launched against the former government officials - Mikheil Saakashvili, Ivane Merabishvili, Giorgi Ugulava, Zurab Adeishvili, and Davit Kezerashvili. The case, which is being examined  in the Tbilisi City Court,  concerns the mass dispersal of protesters on November 7, 2007, the raid into the Imedi TV and its "takeover", which entails exceeding of official powers by an official or a person equal thereto. The case is being investigated under the third section of Article 333 of the Criminal Code of Georgia, which implies imprisonment for a term of five to eight years. Due to its complexity, the case is examined by the collegial composition of the Tbilisi City Court. The sitting of the Court is chaired by Judge Nino Eleishvili.

 The case continues with the examination of the evidence of the prosecution. On June 29, 2020, the trial on merits was held remotely and was not attended by any of the defendants. The hearing should have continued with the examination of the prosecution's written evidence, in particular Volume 7 of the case file, however, due to the fact that a technical problem was identified during the remote proceedings and no voice was heard, the evidence was not examined. According to the defense, the investigation of 1-2 volumes out of 100 would not have a substantial impact on the quality of justice, including in terms of time.

Change of the measure of restraint was also discussed during the hearing, which was not upheld, although currently none of the accused is in custody. The next trial is scheduled for July 21, 2020, and the hearing will be held remotely.

Human Rights Center monitors the criminal cases launched against Mikheil Saakashvili, Ivane Merabishvili, Giorgi Ugulava, Zurab Adeishvili and Davit Kezerashvili in the framework of the project “Public Events Monitoring.” Currently, HRC monitors trials into 19 criminal cases in the common courts, where alleged political motives are identified. The project is implemented with the financial support of the National Endowment for Democracy.
                                                
                 Human Rights  Center

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