The Batumi City Court found former head of Georgia’s western, coastal Adjara Autonomous Republic, Aslan Abashidze, guilty in four different cases and sentenced him 15 years in prison in absentia.
15 years for ex-head of Adjara
By Messenger Staff
Monday, August 15
Five other high-ranking officials of Adjara were also found guilty of several offences under Abashidze’s order or leadership.
Abashidze, 78, who led Adjara from 1991 to May 5, 2004, was found guilty of abuse of official powers, formation of an illegal armed group and leading thereof, non-execution of the effective sentence or any other court decision by an official, and murder committed in exceeding the limits of necessary defence.
On January 22 2007, the same court also found him guilty of misuse of office and embezzlement of $42 million, consequently sentencing Abashidze to a 15-year imprisonment in absentia, due to the fact that since May 2004 Abashidze has lived in Russia.
Abashidze fled the country as he had a conflict with the central Government and Georgia’s ex-President Mikheil Saakashvili, who took office after the November 2003 Rose Revolution.
The remaining five former top officials of Adjara, who were found guilty of various wrongdoings by Batumi City Court yesterday, were former Security Minister of the Autonomous Republic of Adjara Ioseb Gogitidze, former Interior Minister of Adjara, Jemal Gogitidze, former Deputy Interior Minister of Adjara, Elguja Jincharadze, former Security Chief of Adjara, David Khalvashi and former Head of the Administrative Division of the Ministry of Adjara, Amiran Kurtskhalidze.
Georgia’s Chief Prosecutor’s Office claimed that on April 30 1991, in exceeding the limits of necessary defence, using a firearm, Abashidze killed his deputy, Nodar Imnadze, in the building of the Supreme Council of the Autonomous Republic of Adjara.
“Following this, between 1993-2004, Abashidze formed an illegal armed group which he personally led. On May 2 2004, Abashidze, together with other people, organised acts of terrorism, in particular, the destruction of the Choloki and Kakuti bridges in Adjara, and in April 2004 he ordered the planting of mines on the coast in the resort town of Chakvi, Kobuleti,” the Chief Prosecutor’s Office said.
“He also failed to execute a court decision and unlawfully deprived a man, Tengiz Asanidze, and others of their liberty,” the Office added.
Ioseb Gogitidze was found guilty of formation of the illegal armed group with Abashidze, organising terrorist acts , embezzlement of state funds and illegal depriving of liberty. He was sentenced to 12 years in prison.
Jemal Gogitidze was found guilty of organising terrorist acts with Abashidze, embezzling state funds and physically assaulting and depriving certain individuals of their liberty. However, he is now dead and therefore the court imposed no penalties.
Elguja Jincharadze was found guilty of organising terrorist acts with Abashidze, principally the destruction of the Choloki and Kakuti bridges. Jincharadze is also already deceased.
Khalvashi was found guilty of the formation of the illegal armed group with Abashidze, the illegal dispersal of a rally and stealing, extortion and looting of property. He was sentenced to four years and six months in prison.
Amiran Kurtskhalidze was found guilty of official negligence and embezzlement of state funds and was sentenced to six months in prison.