Kutaisi Court of Appeals upheld the judgement of conviction rendered by Kutaisi City Court on July 20, 2018, according to which, M.L. (M.G.) was found guilty of being a thief in law, organizing extortion in group and interfering with journalist’s professional activities by threatening with violence.
Evidence produced by the state prosecution and the court judgement confirmed that after M.G was recognized a thief in law under the rules of the criminal underworld in 2013, he lead and organized a certain group comprised by members of the criminal underworld under the special rules established in the criminal underworld with the aim to commit various offenses; forced citizens by threats, intimidation and criminal deliberations to carry out actions they were not willing to do; organized collection and apportion of the so-call ‘Obtshak’; resolved disputes between business entities and natural persons for the benefit of the criminal underworld and other persons. Moreover, in 2014-2015, M.G. had connections with criminal underworld authorities in Georgia, from whom he received information about the situation in the criminal underworld from time to time, gave them instructions to create beneficial conditions for the underworld and to obtain various privileges. In addition, he made decisions related to supplementing and apportioning the so-call ‘Obtshak’, regulated relations between members of the criminal underworld.
On February 24, 2015, M.G. called the author and anchor of the TV-programme (‘Different Accents’) of the broadcasting company Rustavi 2, expressed his discontent about the negative reportage on his activities that aired on February 14, 2015, and threatened them to refrain from spreading similar information.
Kutaisi City Court found M.L. guilty under Articles 2231§2, 181§2(a) and 154§2 of the Criminal Code of Georgia and sentenced him to imprisonment for a term of 12 years as a measure and extent of penalty.