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President Refuses to Pardon Cleric Sentenced for Attempted Murder

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Friday, September 28
Archpriest Giorgi Mamaladze, who is sentenced for nine years in prison for attempted murder of the patriarch’s female secretary, was refused on a pardon by the President’s Pardon Commission.

Head of the Pardon Commission Zviad Koridze says that the case was discussed in an extraordinary manner as the cleric has not served half of the sentence.

“It is one of the major preconditions a convict to have served half of his sentence to receive a positive recommendation from the commission,” Koridze said.

He stated that if a case is discussed anyway, consent of all members of the commission is mandatory for the positive recommendation.

“As several members were against of the pardon, we did not recommend the president to pardon Mamaladze,” Koridze said.

The president is the only authorized person in Georgia who is permitted by law to pardon prisoners.

Mamalade's lawyer addressed the commission for pardon in August 2018.

In early February last year, Georgia’s Chief Prosecutor’s Office announced that they had detained archpriest Giorgi Mamaladze, the deputy head of the Patriarchate’s Property Management Service and director general of the Patriarchate’s medical center, at Tbilisi International Airport, from where he intended to depart for Germany on February 10.

At that time the Patriarch was in Germany, where he was operated on for bladder-related complications.

Then Chief Prosecutor Irakli Shotadze said that Mamaladze had attempted to acquire cyanide, and the man from whom he tried to receive the substance (journalist Irakli Mamaladze, the detained archpriest’s close friend and relative) informed the police that the archpriest intended to kill a “high ranking spiritual figure.”

The Office did not say that the person whose murder was allegedly planned was necessarily the Patriarch. However, the Office’s silence for several days and unconfirmed information generated speculation that the target was Patriarch Ilia.

Suspicion grew when then Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili stated that the country had “avoided a huge tragedy.”

Only after several days did the Office state that the alleged target was the Patriarch’s female secretary Shorena Tetruashvili, and also released video footage in which Mamaladze spoke about Tetruashvili in a negative context.

He is also heard to say that Tetruashvili is an influential figure in the patriarchate who represents an obstacle for his career.

Mamaladze’s lawyers and family claim the man is innocent and the footage was fabricated.

Some members of the church claim that Mamaladze knew about various financial and property-related violations within the church, which is why he was “trapped by some people involved in illegalities.”

They named Patriarch’s secretary Tetruashvili as “the main wrongdoer.”