Merabishvili found guilty of abusing power
By Ana Robakidze
Tuesday, October 21
Former Interior Minister of Georgia Vano Merabishvili was found guilty of abuse of power in his attempt to cover-up evidence in the murder case of Sandro Girgvliani in 2006. Tbilisi City Court established on October 20 that Merabishvili tried to obstruct the establishment of truth in the high-profile murder case.
Merabishvili was sentenced to 3 years imprisonment and banned from taking a post of a state official for two years after he is released. This is not the first sentence Merabishvili has to serve. He is already serving prison terms for two other convictions.
Merabishvili was sentenced in two separate cases by the Kutaisi City Court (five years in jail on charges of misspending and bribery) while serving as Prime Minister in 2012, and infringement of inviolability of property rights while serving as interior minister. Also, in February 2014 he was sentenced to 4 years and 6 months imprisonment by Tbilisi City Court with regard to breaking up a protest rally in Tbilisi in May of 2011 when he held the post of the interior minister.
The former interior minister did not attend the court session. However, it is known that he does not find himself guilty and claims all charges are politically motivated.
Guram Girgvliani, Father of Sandro Girgvliani, says the City Court decision is simply ridiculous and 3 years of imprisonment is not an adequate punishment for the crime Merabishvili has committed. Speaking to IPN news agency Girgvliani said he will consider whether to appeal the decision or not.
“Everyone is well aware of what has been done to my family. 3 years imprisonment is simply ridiculous. In fact, Merabishvili was in charge of the crime and he did everything to cover up his wife’s participation in Girgvliani’s death.” The penalty is disproportional and I will discuss with the prosecutor’s office whether to appeal the court’s decision or not,” Girgvliani said.