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Court sentences two former ministers to imprisonment

By Tea Mariamidze
Friday, May 5
The Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia reports that Tbilisi City Court has found former Interior Minister of Georgia Ivane Merabishvili and ex-minister of Justice Zurab Adeishvili guilty of exceeding their official powers.

The Court established that under the orders of Merabishvili and Adeishvili, citizens Teimuraz Megrelishvili and Nodar Modebadze were forced to give up their Akura Wine Factory in Telavi, Kakheti, in July 2004.

“Teimuraz Megrelishvili and Nodar Modebadze, being under psychological pressure, decided to concede the factory in order to avoid possible complications from the law enforcement authorities,” the statement of the POG reads.

By the Decision of Tbilisi City Court, for committing the offence, Adeishvili was sentenced to two years of imprisonment, but according to the Law of Amnesty, the sentence was reduced and he was ultimately sentenced to one year and six months behind bars.

As for former Minister of Internal Affairs Merabishvili, the judge sentenced him to three years of imprisonment, but according to the Law of Amnesty, his sentence was also decreased and the final sentence was defined at two years and three months.

Moreover, both men have been deprived of the right to hold any public positions for a year and six months.

The Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia says that the illegally confiscated Akura Wine Factory will be returned to the previous owners.

Merabishvili and Adeishvili served as ministers when the now-opposition United National Movement (UNM) party was in power. In 2012, then-President Mikheil Saakashvili named Merabishvili as the country's Prime Minister a few months before the October parliamentary elections.

After the Georgian Dream (GD) party won the elections, Merabishvili and his government resigned on October 11 2012. In May 2013, Merabishvili was detained for misspending budgetary funds, abuse of power and other charges. He is still in prison now, serving his sentence.

Adeishvili, meanwhile, was sentenced in absentia. He served as Justice Minister from 2008 to 2012. After the elections, he has remained in exile, as he was charged for abuse of power with excessive use of violence, inhumane treatment, provoking a crime and fabricating evidence.