Court of Appeals Finds Ivane Merabishvili Guilty of the Aggravated Assault on Valeri Gelashvili

2017-02-24 11:41:44

Tbilisi City Court has upheld the guilty verdict rendered by Tbilisi City Court on September 22, 2016, upon former Minister of Internal Affairs Ivane Merabishvili, convicted of aggravated assault on Valeri Gelashvili.
Convict Ivane Merabishvili applied to Tbilisi Court of Appeals with the request to reverse the judgement of Tbilisi City Court.
We’d like to remind you, that Tbilisi City Court found former Minister of Internal Affairs Ivane Merabishvili guilty of aggravated assault on Valeri Gelashvili under Article 333 §3 (b), Articles 25,117 §5 (e) of the Criminal Code of Georgia. In result of applying the principle of absorption and the Amnesty Act of Georgia he was sentenced to deprivation of liberty for a term of 6 years and 9 months and was also suspended of the right to hold an official position for a term of 2 years and 3 months. By the same verdict, former Director of Special Operative Department Erekle Kodua and former head of the division of the same Department Gia Siradze were found guilty. Each was sentenced to deprivation of liberty for a term of 6 years and 9 months and were also suspended of the right to hold an official position for a term of 2 years and 3 months.
The Court found established, that on June 29, 2005, Valeri Gelashvili’s (member of the Parliament of Georgia by then) article under the title of ‘Valeri Gelashvili Shall Cede his House to Mikheil Saakashvili’ was published in the Resonance newspaper. In the mentioned article, Valeri Gelashvili expressed his discontent with the acting president for the reason that he was deprived of his property without being paid anything in recompense. In the same article, he discussed the private life of former President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili in offensive manner.
After publishing the article, for the purpose to make an example of Valeri Gelashvili, Mikheil Saakashvili instructed Irakli Okruashvili, the Minister of Defense by then, to physically abuse Valeri Gelashvili in retaliation, though received a negative response. Thereby, Mikheil Saakashvili tasked Ivane Merabishvili, the Minister of Internal Affairs by then, to physically abuse Valeri Gelashvili.
After receiving the assignment, Ivane Merabishvili, under the organization of Director of Special Operative Department (SOD) Erekle Kodua subject to him, ensured to precisely execute the task given by Mikheil Saakashvili, which was carried out on July 15, 2005. Operative officers of SOD and members of Armed Special Forces Unit blocked the car driven by Valeri Gelashvili, in Tbilisi on Mirtshkhulava street, after which they attacked Valeri Gelashvili and people accompanying him. Under the instruction of Erekle Kodua and guidance of head of SOD division Giorgi Siradze, the members of the Special Forces Unit took Valeri Gelashvili from the car together with his accompanying persons forcibly and by threatening with firearms, beat him severely with the butts of firearms and had unlawfully took from him the ‘Heckler Koch’ firearm being in legal ownership of Valeri Gelashvili, money - 10 000 USD and ring, valued for 50 000 GEL.
As a result of beating, Valeri Gelashvili suffered grave bodily injuries.
It should be noted, that Tbilisi City Court institutes proceedings against ex-president Mikheil Saakashvili on organizing aggravated assault carried out against Valeri Gelashvili. In the given case, Mikheil Saakashvili is charged under Article 333 §3 (b), Articles 25,117 §5 (e) of the Criminal Code of Georgia, which entail deprivation of liberty for a term from 3 up to 10 years in length as the type and size of penalty.