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Presa.ge Requests Information about Giorgi Barateli from the Supreme Court

Nino Mikiashvili, Presa.ge

The presa.ge filed cassation suit on June 29 and now they will wait for the decision of the Supreme Court – to leave the verdict of the Appeal Court of May 11 in force or to abolish the verdict and order the penitentiary department to release information where Giorgi Barateli serves his term for the murder of Academician Guram Sharadze. Barateli is sentenced to 27-year-imprisonment.

Lawyer of the Legal Aid Center for Media within the Young Lawyers Association Ana Shalamberidze represents the presa.ge at the court. She said the presa.ge has one request in its cassation suit – “we request the Supreme Court to annul the decision of the Appeal Court and pass new verdict on the case with new legal allegations. The Appeal Court did not change the verdict of the City Court that means it agreed with the position of the City Court and added new legal motives too. In this case, we appealed to the Supreme Court and requested to annul the decision of the Appeal Court – that means the decision of the City Court should also be annulled.”

Ana Shalamberidze clarified that cassation suit shall be discussed within 6 months. So, before December 29, 2010 we will learn whether the Supreme Court will keep the location of Giorgi Barateli in secret or satisfy their request and release public information which is within public interest.

Academician Guram Sharadze was killed at the corner of Melikishvili and Shanidze Streets at about 8:30 pm on May 20, 2007. The murder was video-recorded by the video-cameras installed at the office of the Insurance Company Aldagi; later the daughter of Guram Sharadze Rusudan Sharadze watched the video-recording together with the attorney. Since the murder day, Guram Sharadze’s family claims based on the testimonies of the witnesses and video-recording that real murderer was not punished and Giorgi Barateli has not killed Guram Sharadze.

The Supreme Court passed final verdict on Guram Sharadze’s murder on October 14, 2008 – it did not satisfy the cassation suit of the Sharadzes’ attorney and left the verdicts of the two previous courts in force. According to the initial verdicts Giorgi Barateli was convicted in the murder of Guram Sharadze and was sent to prison for 27 years.

In spring of 2009, two information was spread about Giorgi Barateli in Tbilisi. According to the first information, Barateli was assisted to travel abroad; and according to the second one, Barateli was killed as an unwilling witness. In summer of 2009, when the murderers of Sandro Girgvliani were pardoned, presa.ge sent two letters to the former minister of penitentiary, probation and legal aid of Georgia Dimitri Shashkin: in the one letter they requested public information about the convicted policemen for the murder of Amiran Robakidze and Giorgi Gamtsemlidze – Giorgi Bashaleishvili and Vakhtang Abuashvili; in the second letter presa.ge requested minister Shashkin to inform them about the whereabouts of Giorgi Barateli; both information was public.

The ministry replied to our both letters that the requested information was not public. After that, we filed administrative complaint but they did not discuss it – the location of the convicted for the murder of Sharadze, Robakidze and Gamtsemilidze is secret and we will not discuss it. After that we appealed to the City Court where the lawyers of the Legal Aid Center for Media within the GYLA Tamar Gurchiani and Tatuli Todua represented us.

City Court partly satisfied our suit – information about Barateli is secret and as for the location of the murderers of Gamtsemlidze and Robakidze, they ordered the penitentiary department to release the requested information. However, we have not received the information yet.

Those who keep the location of Giorgi Barateli in secret should know that it is public information because it is in public interest and by hiding the information they support to raise additional questions about the already vague murder of Guram Sharadze.

Presa.ge hopes the Supreme Court will order the penitentiary department to release the information.

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