About Civil.ge
Eng | Geo | Rus
Last updated: 15:46 - 29 Sep.'16
RSS
Mobile
Twitter
Facebook
Tbilisi Seeks Extradition of Ex-Defense Minister Detained in France
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 15 Oct.'13 / 23:59

Georgia’s former defense minister, Davit Kezerashvili, wanted in Georgia on multiple criminal charges including corruption, was detained in France on October 14, the Georgian Interior Ministry said on Tuesday.

A court in southern French city of Aix-en-Provence ordered detention of Kezerashvili pending extradition hearing, Georgia’s ambassador to France, Ekaterine Siradze-Delaunay, said, adding that Kezerashvili was detained in the southern city of Nice.

She said the Georgian side now has forty days to submit its extradition papers with the relevant French authorities.

Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported quoting a source from the French police that Kezerashvili was detained Monday at the Nice airport as he was trying to board a flight to the Albanian capital Tirana.

“He was stopped by border police during an identity check. The police realised that he was the target of an international arrest warrant," the source told AFP.

The Georgian prosecutor’s office, which said that Kezerashvili was detained upon the Georgian side’s request, has confirmed that it is seeking ex-defense minister’s extradition.

Kezerashvili, along with the Georgian passport, also holds Israeli citizenship.

“From the legal point of view citizenship of a third country does not represent an impediment for extradition,” Irakli Chilingarashvili, head of the legal department at the Georgian prosecutor’s office, said on October 15.
 
Kezerashvili, 35, faces criminal charges into two separate cases.

In January, 2013 charges were brought against him in connection to the case involving alleged USD 12.3 million bribe-taking for providing 'protection' to ethyl spirit smuggling scheme between 2007 and 2012. In the same case, Kezerashvili was also charged with violation of customs procedures as investigators claim that the smuggling scheme resulted in up to GEL 49.4 million losses for the state budget in unpaid taxes.

In a separate case, Kezerashvili was charged in February 2013, along with Tbilisi Mayor Gigi Ugulava, with misappropriation of state funds and money laundering. Ugulava was charged without being arrested, while in case of Kezerashvili, the Tbilisi City Court ordered his pre-trial detention in absentia. Trial into this case is now ongoing.

This case involves allegations that Kezerashvili, along with Ugulava, was involved in a scheme through which, as the prosecution claims, state funds were used to seize Imedi TV channel in 2008.

Kezerashvili’s defense lawyer in Georgia, Shota Mindeli, said charges against his client are “politically motivated.”

Kezerashvili was chief of the financial police from 2004 till late 2006 and then served as Defense Minister till December 2008 before going into business.

Latest News
29 Sep.'16 15:46
UNM Plans Final Campaign Rally in Tbilisi on Oct.5
UNM also plans march from the Rose Revolution Square towards the Freedom Square.
28 Sep.'16 17:58
GDDG Hires U.S. Lobbying, PR Consultancy Firms
Ruling party pays $320,000 to Impact Management Group for “lobbyist services” in the U.S.
27 Sep.'16 22:58
NPC-Girchi Quits Burchuladze’s Election Bloc
After split, less than two weeks before the elections, Burchuladze, Japaridze trade accusations.
27 Sep.'16 19:21
Central Bank Sells USD 40 Million
NBG made three interventions over the past month, selling total of USD 80 million.
27 Sep.'16 15:10
After Leaked Audio Recording, Security Service Launches ‘Coup Plot’ Probe
UNM opposition party denies plotting “revolution”, says audio recording is doctored.
27 Sep.'16 10:58
PM Speaks of Reconciliation on Anniversary of ‘Tragic Day of Fall of Sokhumi’
“We all understand is that this war was against Georgians and Abkhazians,” the PM said.
26 Sep.'16 18:44
OSCE Election Observers’ Interim Report
“The tone of the campaign is confrontational,” OSCE long-term election observation mission said.
26 Sep.'16 16:56
Saakashvili Tells UNM Campaign Rally via Video Link: Election Victory ‘Inevitable’
UNM opposition party held a campaign rally in the town of Zugdidi in Samegrelo region on September 26.
24 Sep.'16 14:23
Ivanishvili Meets Businesspeople
He asked them scoldingly if they were “doing enough to explain” to voters positive trends in the country.
23 Sep.'16 14:38
Wizz Air Opens Base in Kutaisi, Launches 7 New Routes
Low-cost airline operator has based one of its new Airbus A320 aircraft at the Kutaisi airport.

About Civil Georgia
Civil.Ge © 2001-2016, Daily News Online
Registered office: 2 Dolidze Str, 4-th Floor.
46