Disputed Drug-Charge Detainee Released on Bail
By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Wednesday, September 21An employee of the Roddy Scott Foundation, Asmat Khangoshvili, controversially arrested on drugs charges has been released from jail. She will have to pay bail of GEL 5,000, the Tbilisi Court of Appeal confirmed on September 20. Representatives of the court reported that, "it was decided that detention should be replaced with bail.”
Khangoshvili has made a first public statement since her release. According to the accused, both her detention and release were unexpected for her.
She says no plea bargain was made. “There was no plea bargain, as I have not pleaded guilty," she remarked.
As the accused relatives and representatives of the Roddy Scott Foundation claim, Khangoshvili was released due to international involvement in her issue. The foundation also says that Khangoshvili will have no problem with her job, as the fund has never doubted her innocence.
Khangoshvili teaches English to children in Duisi in the Pankisi Gorge free of charge. She was detained on Friday and accused of drug trafficking. According to some eyewitnesses drugs were planted on Khangoshvili. The village residents launched a protest with a demand for her release and soon after, the foundation, its employees and foreign journalists stood together with them. According to the statements of locals, the real reason of her detention was the identity of her brother, who is wanted by the Ministry of Internal Affairs. According to the version of events believed by the local people in the gorge, the police hoped that Khangoshvili's brother would give himself up after his sister’s detention.