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Property returned to the family of late head of Georgia’s audit office

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Thursday, November 3
Georgia’s Chief Prosecutor’s Office has returned illegally seized property to the family of the late head of Georgia’s State Audit Office, Sulkhan Molashvili.

The Office claimed that the house (worth 140,000 GEL) was illegally seized under the United National Movement Government in 2004, when Molashvili was detained for abuse of power and misspending of budgetary funds.

The Office stressed that in July 2004, Sulkhan Molashvili’s brother, Tornike Molashvili, was contacted by then-Prosecutor General officials and was asked to purchase a house in the eastern Tsavkisi area for 140,000 GEL and give it to the state for free.

The officials promised that if the family did so, Sulkhan Molashvili would be released from pre-trial detention.

The family took a loan from a bank, bought a house and handed it to the state, but Molashvili was kept in detention.

Sulkhan Molashvili died this year from liver failure in Germany after being released from the prison

Sulkhan Molashvili’s wife, Tatia Molashvili, thanked the Prosecutor’s Office for returning the property after 13 years, but she said the return “meant nothing for her after her husband was killed by the activities of the United National Movement authorities”.

Tatia Molashvili said no more property had been seized from the family.

She added that the investigation into Molashvili’s case was still in progress under the current Government of Georgia.

Molashvili was recognized as a victim of the United National Movement government when the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) acquitted him in 2014 after it was found that the former government had abused his human rights.

Molashvili was found guilty and sentenced for nine years in prison for abuse of power, concealing a crime and misappropriation of public funds on April 23 2004 by UNM court shortly after the Rose Revolution through which the UNM became the ruler of the country . years in prison.

He spent four years behind bars and was released in 2008 under a motion of Patriarch Ilia II.

Molashvili stated that his human rights had been consistently violated in prison. He was tortured and beaten there.

When coming to office in late 2012 after the Parliamentary Elections, the current Georgian Dream Government of Georgia addressed the ECtHR authorities and requested permission to re-investigate the case.

The Strasbourg-based Court ordered the state to pay Molashvili ˆ20,000 compensation and to complete a new investigation within one year.

The current Government paid the compensation in January 2015, while the investigation into Molashvili’s case is still ongoing.