Patriarch of Georgia Ilia II met with family members of archpriest Giorgi Mamaladze, the main suspect in the ‘Cyanide Case,’ on June 21.
The Patriarchate of Georgia released the audio recordings of the meeting today, saying because there are often “distorted versions” of the meeting “spread in the media.”
In February 2017, Archpriest Giorgi Mamaladze, a high-ranking clergymen in the Georgian Orthodox Church, was arrested for allegedly plotting to poison the secretary and advisor of Patriarch Ilia, in a case which was dubbed ‘the Cyanide case.’ Mamaladze denies all the allegations against him. He has been in detention while the trial is on-going. On May 19th, the judge of Tbilisi City Court made a decision that the case would be heard in an entirely closed court, without press.
During the meeting with the Patriarch, Mamaladze’s family members asked the Patriarch to give the Eucharist for them to pass to Mamaladze, but were interrupted by other clergymen in the delegation. Some clergy members have spoken out against giving Mamaladze the Eucharist, saying archpriest Mamaladze is subject to a punishment in which he cannot receive it.
Tornike Mamaladze, the brother of the archpriest, spoke after the meeting that his brother speaks the truth against the allegation against him, and that the case is “oriented towards discrediting the church.”
Mamaladze says he was constantly interrupted by other clergymen when he tried to discuss serious issues with the Patriarch, including when he asked the Patriarch his opinion on who was behind the case to discredit the church.
“I am sure that the truth will be revealed and we will know who needed this provocation,” Patriarch Ilia II said, according to the audio recording released by the Patriarchate.
“I’ve never seen anything bad from Father Giorgi, and this was very unexpected for me when I was told that he was arrested,” Ilia II said.