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Court Finds Former Interior Ministry Official Guilty

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Tbilisi City Court convicted Data Akhalaia, former head of the Interior Ministry’s Department for Constitutional Security (DCS), of premeditated murder committed in group, exceeding official powers and falsification of evidence into the case related to the so called Navtlugi special operation in Tbilisi. The court sentenced Akhalaia in absentia to 12 years in jail. 

Three men were killed during the special operation carried out by Georgia’s Interior Ministry in Navtlugi district of Tbilisi in January 2006. According to Tbilisi City Court, one of the murdered was killed by Data Akhalaia and another man was shot by former DCS official, Giorgi Dgebuadze.

Dgebuadze, who was extradited from the Netherlands to Georgia in March, was sentenced to nine years in jail on charges of assisting in premeditated murder committed in group and exceeding official powers.

Data Akhalaia, who had also served as the Deputy Defense Minister, left Georgia following the 2012 parliamentary elections. He was arrested in Greece in spring 2014, but released later on bail. The court in Greece rejected Georgia’s demand for his extradition.  Interpol withdrew red notice for Akhalaia, who is wanted in Georgia on multiple criminal charges.
In March 2014, the Tbilisi City Court found him guilty into the case related to beating up of police officers in 2005 and sentenced him in absentia to 3 years and 9 months in jail. Akhalaia is also charged in connection with Sandro Girgvliani case.

 

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