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Charged files against Zurab Adeishvili

By Keti Arjevanidze
Friday, January 11
An international search will be launched for Zurab Adeishvili, Georgia’s former justice minister. The prosecutor’s office sent the resolution to the Ministry of Interior Affairs on January 10th.

Adeshivili’s lawyer, Gocha Svanidze required annulling the city court sanction, based on which pre-trial detention was filed in absentia against Adeishvili. In addition, Adeishvili’s diplomatic and ordinary passports have been invalidated.

Criminal charges brought against Adeishvili include the abuse of power with the use of violence, inhumane treatment, provoking a crime and fabricating evidence.

The case is connected to the prison abuse scandal in early September that broke during the election campaign in the country.

Charges were brought in absentia against the former justice minister, who left the country after the parliamentary election on October 1st.

According to Adeishvili’s lawyer, the former minister does not consider himself guilty. Svanidze also said that he demands the process to be recorded in order allow society to judge openly.

“Society should know every detail and critically see everything; the criminal must be punished, but if the offence is not proved, we must obey the law,” said the lawyer.

The lawyer also added that he was provided the evidence recently and most is not connected with the above-mentioned case: “what is clear and enough for them, for us is not obvious. Moreover, a lot of questions remain,” said Svanidze.

After the parliamentary elections, the location of Adeishvili is unknown. However, the new Minister of Justice, Thea Tzulukiani, said Adeishvili was in Budapest, Hungary. Tzsulukiani also added that a lot of former officials visited him. “There is a legal mechanism for any accused who does not attend the court,” stated Tzulukiani.

While the decision to declare Adeishvili as wanted or not was on the way, Irakli Okruahsvili’s imprisonment was replaced by GEL 10 000 bail, based on a Tbilisi City Court decision. One of the charges against the former defense minister was dropped at the court session held on January 10th.

In March of 2008, the Georgian court found the former defense minister guilty of “large-scale extortion” and was sentenced to 11 years in prison in absentia. A month later, Okruashivili was granted asylum in France.

Okruashvili was arrested upon arrival to Tbilisi International Airport in November 2012 and was charged with the abuse of duties, money laundering and the formation of illegal gangs on Georgian territory.