Akhalaia charged in relation to Girgvliani case

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Georgia's former Interior Minister Bacho Akhalaia speaks to media at the prosecutor's office in Tbilisi Photo: Irakli Gedenidze / REUTERS

Georgian Prosecutor's Office charged former Defense Minister, Bacho Akhalaia in relation to Sandro Girgvliani case on 25 October.

Prosecutor Shota Tkeshelashvili said at a press briefing at the Prosecutor's Office that criminal charges were brought against Bacho Akhalaia in relation to Girgvliani case for abusing power. "It has been established by the investigation that Bachana Akhalaia, acting against his duties and public interests, with the motive of giving illegal advantage to his brother Davit Akhalaia and to other participants of the crime against Sandro Girgvliani, violated Georgia's international commitments, the Constitution of Georgia, the legislation and through abuse of power by interfering in the activities of the detention facilities #7 and #10 and by making numerous illegal orders, stipulated improper execution of sentences for the persons convicted for the crime against Sadnro Girgvliani – Alexsandre Ghachava, Avtandli Aptsiauri and Mikheil Bibiluri – by creating special conditions forbidden by the legislation and by giving them illegal advantages through the whole prison term," the Prosecutor's Office statement reads.

According to Prosecutor, due to Akhalaia's efforts, the convicted persons were serving their sentences in an "especially privileged" conditions "so that their life [in prison] practically did not differ from that of materially secure citizens. They used to periodically leave the detention facilities, lived in their own houses for long periods of time, and more importantly, visited their former workplace, Interior Ministry's Constitutional Security Department, in particular."

Prosecutor Tkeshelashvili pointed out the investigation established that "in return to their devotion and support, Data Akhalaia promised the convicted persons to resolve their family and daily problems during the entire term, as well as solid monetary fee and symbolic terms in the penitentiary facilities."

The Prosecutor said ex-Interior Minister, Vano Merabishvili, the former head of MIA's Constitutional Security Department, Davit Akhalaia, as well as deputy head of the Department Oleg Melnikov, Tbilisi Division of the Department, Davit Kokiashvili and the former deputy head of General Inspection of Justice Ministry, Davit Ckhitunidze were also charged in connection with the same case. Tkeshelashvili told reporters that the investigation of Girgvliani case continues.

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