The messenger logo

Detained cleric questioned on Monday

By Messenger Staff
Monday, February 27
Georgia’s Chief Prosecutor’s Office stated on the weekend that they would question a priest detained for the notorious “cyanide case” today.

The clergyman, Giorgi Mamaladze, was detained on February 10 for complicity in an alleged murder attempt of a ‘high-ranking spiritual figure’.

The Office stresses that after his initial detention, the clergyman was “five-times offered” the chance to give a testimony, but he refused the offers.

The lawyer of the detainee claims the Prosecutor’s Office lied that the offers were not made.

Meanwhile, Georgia’s Public Defender Ucha Nanuashvili says the priest's cell is under video-audio surveillance to ensure his safety.

Nanuashvili said that applying such measures were the detained cleric’s wish, who according to his lawyers was insistent that he was innocent.

Chief Prosecutor Irakli Shotadze said that Mamaladze was attempting to acquire cyanide, and the man from whom he tried to receive the substance informed the police that the archpriest intended to kill a senior religious figure.

Many suspected that the target of the attack was Patriarch Ilia II.

However, the lawyer of the detainee stated that he had been charged with intending to kill the Patriarch’s female secretary Shorena Tetruashvili, who is not, in fact, a senior spiritual figure. According to some information, Tetruashvili resigned from the official post she held in the patriarchate.

Later, after significant turmoil and speculation, the Prosecutor's Office also said the target “wasn’t the Patriarch”.

Some clergymen have stated that Mamaladze was detained because he knew too much about various financial and property-related violations within the patriarchate.

On his return from Germany Patriarch Ilia II stressed that the church and the government should cooperate in the investigation of the case “unprecedented” in the Georgian church’s history.

It is obvious that there is an ongoing internal feud within the church, and there are questions that must be answered and the public must be informed.

It is possible – though not guaranteed – that soon the truth will be revealed, after weeks of speculations and accusations (which serve the purpose of truth in Georgia) from all parties involved.