Merabishvili Sentenced in Girgvliani Case-Related Trial

Tbilisi City Court found ex-interior minister Vano Merabishvili guilty of abuse of power in a trial in which he was facing prosecution for covering up evidence in an attempt to obstruct establishment of truth into the high-profile murder case of Sandro Girgvliani in 2006.

In the same trial he was also found guilty of fraudulent actions carried out by an official and sentenced for both charges to three years in prison. Original sentence delivered by the judge was four years and 1.5 years in prison respectively for each of the charges, but it was truncated to three years because those charges fall under the amnesty act, which was passed by the Parliament in December, 2012.

Merabishvili, who was not attending the trial, was denying charges as politically motivated.

He already serves prison terms after being found guilty in two other separate trials. In February, 2014 he was sentenced to 4 years and 6 months in jail in connection to break up of the protest rally in Tbilisi in May, 2011 when he was the interior minister. Also in February he was sentenced in two separate cases by the Kutaisi City Court to five years in jail on charges of misspending and bribing of voters while serving as Prime Minister in 2012, and infringement of inviolability of property rights while serving as interior minister.

Merabishvili is a co-defendant in a case in which ex-president Mikheil Saakashvili is facing criminal charges in connection to break of protest rallies on November 2007 and raid on Imedi TV.


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