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Former Judge Claims Intimidation and Threats within Georgian Judicial System Linked to Bidzina Ivanishvili

By Liza Mchedlidze
Wednesday, May 29, 2024
Besarion Alavidze, the former judge of the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal claims that there were times when the "clan of judges" confronted him about specific decisions and openly threatened him. Alavidze told TV Pirveli that during his tenure as a judge, he received a threat from one of the chairpersons of the Supreme Court if he did not make a decision that was favorable to Bidzina Ivanishvili.

A former judge alleged that he received a message warning that if he did not deliver the desired decision in a high-profile case, Bidzina Ivanishvili and the current government would "blow my brains out".

Furthermore, he claims receiving an offer concerning another case, where signing it in advance was suggested to potentially alter the attitude towards him. He also claims receiving threats from the "clan of judges", warning that speaking openly to journalists about court issues would lead to repercussions.

Despite the alleged intimidation, Alavidze affirmed his determination to continue speaking out.

"I received a message from one of the chairpersons of the Supreme Court, saying that if I did not make the desired decision on one of the high-profile cases favorable to Bidzina Ivanishvili and the government that had already been completed, they would implode my brain.

Also, for example, I received an offer in connection with one of the cases, where I was told that if I signed the case in advance, for example, the attitude and mood towards me would change. I also received another threat from the clan that if I, for example, talked to journalists publicly and openly about the problems in the court, I would have a problem, they would run me over and they would not back down on anything. Still, I'm not going to stop," Alavidze stated.

Regarding the silent protest against the "Foreign Agents" law by the judges, the former Supreme Court judge stated that they have "exposed" the government.

"I think they exposed, emphasized, and highlighted that Article 78 of the Constitution is violated by the adoption of the Russian law. If this law is Russian, we don't want to get into it. However, the fact that we have a small group of these judges who express their position in this way is a result of the intimidation of the court," he said.

Besarion Alavidze was appointed to the Supreme Court of Georgia in February 2011 for a 10-year term. He was one of the nine judges who examined the Rustavi 2 case and attributed it to Kibar Khalvashi.

Alavidze has been speaking about the clan within the judicial system for years. For example, he stated that the "clan of judges" members Murusidze-Chinchaladze (US sanctioned judges for corruption) had "victims".

In 2022, Alavidze mentioned that numerous judges had been targeted by the "clan" and treated unfairly. He noted that they were either coerced into writing statements and leaving the system or pressured into transferring to lower instance courts. During that period, he also remarked that the "clan of judges" act according to "street rules", summoning judges to offices, and directly influencing outcomes.