Former Interior Ministry Officials Released in Plea Deal

Guram Donadze, former Interior Ministry spokesperson, and Zurab Mikadze, former chief of Patrol Police, who were convicted for exceeding official powers into a high-profile murder case of Amiran (Buta) Robakidze in 2004, have been released after the court approved a plea bargain deal between them and the prosecution.

The Prosecutor’s Office told on April 16 that Guram Donadze and Zurab Mikadze pleaded guilty and confessed the crime committed against Robakidze and his friends.  

The Prosecutor’s Office also noted that during the court hearing the two men named some other former officials, who, according to them, exceeded their official powers. According to media reports, then Interior Minister Irakli Okruashvili, who was sentenced to five years in prison over June 20-21, 2019 events earlier this week, was among them.   

Guram Donadze was arrested in February 2013, a year after Bidzina Ivanishvili’s Georgian Dream party came to power. However, the Tbilisi City Court released him on bail.

Later, on December 18, 2018, the Tbilisi City Court found Donadze and Mikadze guilty of exceeding official powers and sentenced them to five years and three months in jail; they were both banned from holding public office for two years and three months. Three other officials were also found guilty into the same case.

19-year-old Amiran (Buta) Robakidze was shot by a patrol police officer on November 23, 2004; the authorities initially claimed that Robakidze and his companions were “gang of armed men,” and that the policemen acted in self-defense.

The TV program Patrol Police, which was produced by the Interior Ministry’s press service, reported the next day that the police seized Kalashnikov assault rifles from the car in which Robakidze and his friends were driving.

Claims that officers acted in self-defense were discarded by the police later; Grigol Bashaleishvili, a patrol police officer, admitted that he accidentally shot Robakidze, who was unarmed.

Although Bashaleishvili was convicted in 2006 and sentenced to four years in prison, Robakidze’s family insisted on punishing those involved in the crime scene fabrication.

In particular, the relatives were pointing the finger at Guram Donadze, who was in charge of producing the Patrol Police program, as well as the then chief of Patrol Police, Zurab Mikadze.

This post is also available in: ქართული (Georgian) Русский (Russian)


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