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Chief Prosecutorís Office opens three cases involving high-raking ex-officials

By Liza Mchedlidze
Tuesday, September 29
Georgiaís Chief Prosecutorís Office has opened a case that involved criminal responsibility of former high-ranking law-enforcement officials and thousands of GEL worth illegally deprived property.

The Office has informed media that in 2010, the head of the Mate Motors car importing company Gela Barkalaia was detained for a bribe-taking charge.

In order to sign a plea bargain with the Prosecutorís Office under the previous Government of Georgia, Barkalaia was supposed to hand ten TOYOTA HILUX cars to the state leadership.

ďBarkalaia had no other way and accepted the pre-condition,Ē the Chief Prosecutorís Office said, noting that the total cost of the cars was 443,223 GEL.

Since signing the plea bargain, Barkalaia had to pay an additional 5,000 GEL as a fine.

ďThe former deputy head of he second main Constitutional Department of the Ministry of Interior Affairs (MIA) Vakhtang Bochorishvili was directly involved in the illegal seizure of property,Ē the Office stated.

In the following two cases, the high-ranking officials of MIA and the Defence Ministry Military Police also illegally seized cars from individuals in return of signing the plea bargain.

Their named have not been identified.

In particular, in December 2010 the MIA official appropriated detainee Revaz Peradzeís car for to accept the deal.

After signing the plea bargain, Peradze, who was detained for illegal keeping and usage of drugs, was sent to prison for a year and paid 4,000 GEL fine.

The same year, fellow detainee Givi Guchashvili also had to concede his own Nisan car to the Military Police official in return for a plea bargain. Guchishvili also had to pay a 5,000 GEL fine.

ďThe three individuals all got their property back,Ē the Chief Prosecutorís Office said.

As the former officials cooperated with the investigation, the legal process has not been launched against them, the Prosecutorís Office said.

The Department to Investigate Offences Committed in the Course of Legal Proceedings of the Chief Prosecutorís Office was created on January 30, 2015, and concerned any crimes committed before 2012.

The body has already opened 20 cases with 15 former officials involved in them. A total of 21 individuals were recognized as victims and had their property returned to them.

The opposition United National Movement states that very likely the department would be used for political persecution against political opponents, UNM members being priority targets.