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Georgia’s ex-Chief Prosecutor sent to pre-trial detention in absentia

By Tea Mariamidze
Monday, December 7
Tbilisi City Court has made a verdict to send Georgia’s former Chief Prosecutor Zurab Adeishvili to pre-trial detention in absentia on charges related to the alleged illegal seizure of property dating back to 2004.

Adeishvili, who has already been charged in absentia in Georgia for the abuse of power with the use of violence, inhumane treatment, provoking a crime and fabricating evidence, is thought to be in Ukraine and advising the local authorities.

Today’s verdict was related to a vinyard located in Georgia’s western Adjara region.

Georgia’s Chief Prosecutor’s Office released a statement on November 16 this year, saying that Adeishvili, together with Georgia’s former Interior Minister Ivane (Vano) Merabishvili, other state officials and a number of court representatives, participated in the illegal seizure of property belonging to Teimuraz Megrelishvili and Nodar Modebadze, two winemakers living in the coastal Adjara region.

Currently, Adeishvili is only wanted by Georgian law-enforcement bodies, though he was previously also wanted by Interpol.

However, in April 2015, Interpol removed Adeishvili from its internationally wanted people’s list.

“The General Secretariat of Interpol referred to the fact of granting refugee status to Adeishvili by one of the states, which remains unknown to the Georgian side, as the main ground for annulling the international search of Adeishvili,” the Prosecutor’s Office stated, noting that the General Secretariat of Interpol has made the decision without requesting additional submission of the relevant documentation from the Georgian side, and the latter became aware of the mentioned fact only after the Red Notice Application against the fugitive was annulled.

The United National Movement (UNM) opposition party claims that Georgia’s former wanted officials are being politically persecuted, while the current state leadership claims it never interferes in the court’s business.

A trial concerning the case with the participation of Merabishvili was scheduled on January 12, 2016.

If found guilty, the two former officials will face a three to five year prison term.

Unlike Adeishvili, Merabishvili remains incarcerated in Georgia on other charges.