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Why Is Attorney Sent to Prison for Eight Years

25.02.2010
Saba Tsitsikashvili, Gori

Investigation accused lawyer from Gori Marina Chitadze in extorting money from client and oppression on victims in order to change the testimony. The lawyer is sentenced to 8-year-imprisonment. Here is the story which changed the fate of Marina Chitadze.

Case of Tamaz Kokashvili

On April 24, 2006 Levan Motsikulashvili, a school-boy, was playing and exploding so-called “explosives” in front the house of Tamaz Kokashvili in the village of Khidistavi, Gori district. Tamaz Kokashvili was annoyed by noise and took his gun and shoot Levan Motsikulashvi; the latter claims Kokashvili had aimed at him.

“As soon as I saw him holding a gun, I rushed into the house and he fired. The bullet was shot into the wall,” said Levan Motsikulashvili.

Mother of Levan Motsikulashvili Mzia Lukashvili evaluated the incident of April 24, 2006 as an attempt to kill her son and sued the neighbor at the police 5 days later. Tamaz Kokashvili was detained on May 1 and the court discussed his case on May 4.

Liability Turned into Thorough Discussion…

Relatives of Tamaz Kokashvili hired lawyer Marina Chitadze. The parties attended the trial on May 4. Judge Zaza Ramishvli had to discuss forms of liabilities. Investigator Ilia Takadze and supervising prosecutor Irakli Grdzelidze, as well as victims Mzia Lukashvili and Levan Motsikulashvili attended the trial. As a rule, the judge does not need victims when he discusses forms of liabilities. Mzia Lukashvili and Levan Motsikulashvili attended the trial only based on the request of Marina Chitadze.  They altered the initial testimony and said that the suit against Tamaz Kokashvili was dictated by the investigator.

Prosecutor Irakli Grdzelidze stated that after similar situation judge should not have discussed liability of Tamaz Kokashvili because nobody blamed him any longer. The prosecutor withdrew his solicitation about imprisonment and Kokashvili was set free from the court room.

Representatives of the Gori office of the Human Rights Center do not remember any fact when judge and prosecutor had discussed the liability so thoroughly.

Judge Zaza Ramishvili does not mention in the judgment passed on May 4, 2006 that victims altered their initial testimonies and only indicated that prosecutor and investigator withdrew their solicitations.

Almost 20 days had passed and on May 24, 2006 interim regional prosecutor Giorgi Kavsadze informed the head of Gori police department that Mzia Lukashvili and her son Levan Motsikulashvili living in Khidistavi shall be detained because of past violation.

There is a question – why did the regional prosecutor recalled the altered testimonies only 20 days later? Head of Gori police department Zurab Chabukiani detained Mzia Lukashvili and Levan Motsikulashvili for altered testimonies on May 31. Next day the prosecutor requested bail instead imprisonment of the mother Mzia Lukashvili and imprisonment for the son Levan Motsikulashvili. However, Judge Bondo Vatiashvili bailed both mother and son with total sum of 5 000 GEL.

What happened in Marina Chitadze’s room at 10:00 pm?

On June 21, 2006 Mzia Lukashvili and Levan Motsikulashvili wrote to Gori district prosecutor that relatives of Tamaz Kokashvili based on the suggestion of the lawyer Marina Chitadze made them to alter the testimonies.

“At the trial on May 4, we changed our initial testimonies because we were oppressed by the relatives of Kokashvili. More precisely, on May 2 I was brought to regional police station where I met lawyer Marina Chitadze and she took us to her office. It happened at 10:00 pm. Marine Chitadze dictated me and I changed the testimony; she was assuring me that everything would be all right; nobody would harm me; the only problem was release of Tamazi. Relatives of Tamaz Kokashvili threatened my son with burning our house and kicking our family out of the village. Thus, we had to write the testimony in favor of Tamaz Kokashvili in Chitadze’s office,” Mzia Lukashvili wrote to prosecutor Giorgi Tsertsvadze.

Replies of Marina Chitadze to Accusations

Thus, Mzia Lukashvili and Levan Motsikulashvili wrote new testimonies against Marina Chitadze and relatives of Kokashvili on June 21, 2006. Marina Chitadze was arrested only two years later in summer of 2008. Gori district court passed verdict on her on January 28, 2009. Appeal court discussed and did not change the initial verdict on September 10, 2009. Nowadays, Marina Chitadze is waiting for the new judgment of the Supreme Court.

Marina Chitadze: “On May 2, 2006 at about 10:00 - 11:00 pm director of Gori public school N 3 Guram Abramishvili and two strange women to my house. One of them was wife of Tamaz Kokashvili – Marina Patsinashvili. They asked me to be an attorney of detainee Tamaz Kokashvili. Since Guram Abramishvili and I had been very close for many years, I agreed to visit the detainee in the detention setting that night. Soon I cleared up the situation. Time was working against us. The liability had to be discussed within 72 hours. 24 hours had already passed. Next day, Marina Patsinashvili and her relative Ketevan Kutateladze visited me. I explained to them that court is restricted during discussion of liability that meant they were not going to discuss guiltiness of Kokashvili. Besides that, investigation insisted to qualify the crime under Article 108 of the Criminal Code of Georgia. The events might be developed in the following direction. Based on the gravity of the crime, Kokashvili could have been sent to prison. After that, in order to check the reasonability of my solicitation, I was sure that charge under Article 108 would be removed and we could face arbitrary detention which would be followed by false denouncement and more and more grave results as an investigating institution against state interests. If Mzia Lukashvili had changed the testimony, or told the truth, we could avoid negative results. Mzia Lukashvili could have been charged. I unleashed this reality and consequently, I could not compel Marina Patsinashvili and Ketevan Kutateladze to go and oppress the suitor. After my detailed explanations, apparently, Tamaz Kokashvili’s wife and their relatives thought it was profitable for them and decided to make the victim change the testimony.

At the trial, Ketevan Kutateladze said Chitadze had suggested them to compel Lukashvili to change the testimony, and it could assist Tamaz Kokashvili to be free. However, nobody was oppressed.

Besik Nalikashvili’s Case

On June 18, 2006 patrol policemen detained Besik Nalikashvili, resident of Gori. He was sentenced to pretrial detention for extorting mobile phone from a person.

Besik Nalikashvili’s mother hired lawyer Marina Chitadze to protect her son. She found Chitadze after suggestions of her friends.

“Initially I transferred 400 GEL to the lawyer’s bank account. At that time Marina told me she had not passed exams for lawyer’s certificate and lawyer working in her bar office Giga Jeiranashvili could formally represent me at the court. Marina could act behind him. Our relative was also detained together with my son. The lawyers promised me to protect him and I paid 400 GEL for each of them,” the mother of Besik Nalikashvili reported to the investigation.

According to her testimony, in October of 2006 Marina Chitadze asked Nani Nalikashvili how much money she could collect. It turned out that Nani Nalikashvili had 6 000 GEL and it was not enough. On November 2, 2006 Nailkashvili already had 7 000 GEL. The lawyer Marina Chitadze asked the mother to bring the money to her mother’s house in Partizani Street.

According to the bill of particulars “in order to execute criminal plans, Marina Chitadze periodically reminded Nani Nalikashvili that certain amount of money was necessary for the release of Besik Nalikashvili. In October of 2006, (exact date is not estimated) Marina Chitadze called Nani Nalikashvili and asked her to come to her office. During the meeting, the lawyer told the client that she needed certain amount of money to settle the problem with the judge and prosecutor. Later she would inform her about the exact amount of money.”

As it was cleared up later, on January 30, 2007 Gori district court imposed 6-year-imprisonment on Besik Nalikashvili. Nalikashvili requested the paid money back from Marina Chitadze but the lawyer refused. Consequently, Nani Nalikashvili decided to sue her at the prosecutor’s office for not having implemented her responsibilities.

Lawyer Marina Chitadze alleged the money taken from Nani Nalikashvili was just honorary for her activities.

“How can be participation in the courts of all three instances in defense of Besik Nalikashvili, suing the verdicts, solicitation, visiting the detainee in detention settings, consultations, etc evaluated? Is not it execution of the assumed responsibilities? In addition to that, Nani Nalikashvili stated at the Appeal Court that she was satisfied with the result, and everything is clear now. She is doing her best to get her money back completely. I wonder why I should have served her without payment,” said Marina Chitadze.

All in all, everything can happen. The Supreme Court has not passed final verdict yet. If unacceptable verdict is passed, Marina Chitadze and her attorneys will send appeal to Strasbourg Court. The investigation does not know the prosecutor and the judge whom Marina Chitadze had to give the money taken by Nani Nalikashvili. However, Chitadze denies this fact and said 7 000 GEL is her honorary. The investigation has one more complaint. Investigation thinks if Chitadze took 7 000 GEL for her service, why it was not registered as an income. According to the Tax Code, avoidance of tax payment for particularly large income is punished under the law. Marina Chitadze thinks she has not hidden the sum from the budget.

“Private person is responsible only for avoiding the tax payment. In this particular case, income for legal aid was to be taxed and impartial side of the crime is in avoiding of large amount of taxes. That means, it is necessary condition for criminal liability – large amount of tax. I have done it but without impartial side; even subjective side could not have been between me and Nani Nalikashvili if we had signed a written agreement on the rest of sum,” said Marina Chitadze.

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Name: ქეთევან ფიფია
2011-11-29 20:53
დავიმახსოვროთ სახელი-მარინა ჩიტაძე და არასოდეს არ ავიყვანოთ ადვოკატად.
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