Batumi City Court sentenced the former leader of the Adjara Autonomous Republic, Aslan Abashidze, to 15 years in prison, in absentia. Abashidze stands accused for several crimes, including the murder of Nodar Imnadze. On the case the judge Mamaseishvili sentenced Abashidze to 2 years and 7 months and imposed the fine of 100 000 GEL for the compensation of moral damage.
According to the Prosecutor General, court plead Aslan Abashidze guilty for the abuse of power [during his ruling], creation and leadership of unlawful armed formations, intentional non-fulfillment of court’s decision and in murder [exceeding the frame of unavoidable repulse].
Batumi City Court also announced its verdicts of other high-ranking officials during Abashidze period. Soso Gogitidze, former Security Minister for Adjara and Davit Khalvashi, head of the Security for Abashidzem have been sentenced to jail for 12 years, and 4 years and 6 months, respectively.
The investigation against Aslan Abashidze and his affiliates started in 2004.
Aslan Abashidze was leader of the Autonomous Republic of Adjara between 1991-2004. After the Rose Revolution, Abashidze resigned as he faced mass protests and pressure from the central government in Tbilisi. Under his tenure Abashidze centralized power in Adjara and often went against the central government’s orders, inflaming adjarian separatism. He since lives in Moscow. On January 22, 2007 Abashidze was charged in absentia for embezzlement and misuse of power.