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Victim of UNM dies

By Messenger Staff
Friday, July 1
The former head of Georgia’s State Audit Office, Sulkhan Molashvili, died on Wednesday in Paris from liver failure.

Molashvili traveled to France from Georgia several days before his death to receive treatment.

“I’m very saddened by the death of Mr. Molashvili. I share his loss with his loved ones and stand by his family,” President of Georgia Giorgi Margvelashvili wrote.

Molashvili was recognised to be a victim of Georgia’s previous United National Movement (UNM) Government, as the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) acquitted him in 2014 after the UNM government was found to have abused the ex-official’s human rights.

Molashvili was found guilty of abuse of power, concealing a crime and misappropriation of public funds on April 23 2004, shortly after the Rose Revolution which brought the UNM to power, and was sentenced to nine years in prison.

He spent four years behind bars and was released in 2008 due to the influence of Patriarch Ilia II.

Molashvili stated his human rights were badly violated in prison.

When coming to office after the 2012 parliamentary race, the current Government of Georgia addressed the ECtHR and admitted the former government’s violations in Molashvili’s case and requested permission to re-investigate the incident.

The Strasbourg-based court ordered the state to pay Molashvili ˆ20,000 in compensation within three months and to complete a new investigation within one year.

The current Government paid the compensation in January 2015, while the investigation into Molashvili’s case is still in process.

Georgia’s Chief Prosecutor’s Office said dozens of witnesses have been questioned and volumes of documental materials have been studied in order to bring the investigation to an end.

The Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia is full of applications similar to Molashvili’s case, and thousands of people who claim they were victims of the previous authorities are waiting for judgement by the courts.

Investigating these cases and punishing those standing behind the crimes is of paramount importance, however each investigation must be transparent and fair and leave no room for speculations.

If the current Government ignores such applications, some people may feel that the Georgian Dream party does not dispense justice in the way that it claims.