Defense lawyer: Coerced testimonies were obtained against Adeishvili

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On 15 January, defense lawyers of the former Justice Minister Zurab Adeishvili demanded that the criminal prosecution against Adeishvili be terminated. They assert that testimonies against the former Justice Minister were obtained by coercion from the former First Deputy Head of the Penitentiary Department, Gaga Mkurnalidze, and the former First Deputy Chief Prosecutor, Davit Chkhatarashvili. According to the defense, the criminal case against Adeishvili is based on these very testimonies. As the defense lawyer Romeo Sajaia declared, Chkhatarashvili already confirmed that the pressure was exerted upon the court. For his part, the defense lawyer of Gaga Mkurnalidze released a statement on 15 January, which says that Mkurnalidze was forced into a false testimony against Zurab Adeishvili.

"Gaga Mkurnalidze was demanded that he give false testimony against [the former Defense Minister] Bacho Akhalaia or else new charges would be leveled against him. Mkurnalidze refused to testify against Akhalaia and indeed, the prosecution leveled new charges against him several weeks ago. Gaga Mkurnalidze wants to tell society that he is one of the witnesses in the criminal case against Zurab Adeishvili and that under the threats he was coerced into a false testimony against Adeishvili," said Romeo Sajaia.

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