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Tbilisi City Court found ex-official Erekle Kodua guilty

By Messenger Staff
Monday, March 28
Tbilisi City Court found the former head of Georgia’s Special Operations Department, Erekle Kodua, guilty for abuse of power and sentenced him in absentia for two years and eight months in prison.

Investigation revealed that Kodua, who was one of the most influential law enforcement officials under the United National (UNM) Government, was engaged in illegal activities when he was in office in 2008-2009.

In particular, in August 2008 he forced a detainee, Merab Robakidze - who faced charges for keeping and using drugs - to buy two cars “for the state” with a total price of $90,000 USD.

Only after the purchase a plea bargain was signed with Robakidze. One of the cars, a Lexus GX 470 worth $45,000 USD, Kodua registered for his son.

In the second episode in 2009, in exchange for a plea bargain for Giorgi Gurchiani - a man detained for possesing and using drugs - Kodua forced G. Gurchiani’s brother, the owner of the Tbilisi Toyota Center Erekle Gurchiani, to gift a car worth $92,000 USD to his mother, Laura Ghatchava, and also buy another car worth $41,000 USD.

Based on the Georgia’s Law on Amnesty produced in 2012, Kodua’s sentence was decreased to two years and eight months.

Kodua himself and the members of the United National Movement say the former official is a victim of political persecution.

Kodua has never pleaded guilty.

He is currently abroad and remains wanted by Georgia’s law enforcement bodies.

Kodua also faced charges for beating and abusing Member of Parliament Valeri Gelashvili in 2005; if found guilty he would face a sentence from three to 10 years for such a crime.