ECtHR Releases Mamaladze v. Georgia Ruling

The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) released its decision on the case of Mamaladze v. Georgia on 3 November, which found two violations of Giorgi Mamaladze’s right to a fair trial under Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

In line with its ruling, the Court ordered Georgia to pay Mamaladze GEL 9,418 (USD 3,431), along with any tax that may be chargeable to him, within 3 months of the ruling.

ECtHR Findings

The ECtHR ruled that there was a violation of Article 6.1 “on account of the holding of the criminal trial in camera.” The Court also found another violation under Article 6.2, which states that “everyone charged with a criminal offense shall be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law.”

It did not satisfy Mamaladze’s third claim, however, and remarked that there was no violation under Article 6.1 “on account of the manner in which the evidence was obtained and used against the applicant.”

The Court remarked in its ruling that the “finding of a violation constitutes in itself sufficient just satisfaction for any non-pecuniary damage sustained by the applicant.”

The Court also stated that it “dismisses the remainder of the applicant’s claim for just satisfaction.”

Mamaladze’s Lawyer Responds

David Jandieri, the lawyer representing Mamaladze’s interests in the ECtHR responded to the news in a Facebook post, stating “I won the cyanide case at the Strasbourg Court… I was satisfied on two issues out of three.”

Jandieri noted that the “Chamber unanimously determined that the right of Deacon Giorgi Mamaladze to a fair trial was violated and accordingly found a violation of Article 6 (6.1 and 6.2) of the Convention.”

“As a lawyer, I spent four very difficult years working on the most difficult case alone. After winning the [Sandro] Girgvliani case, I have not had such an important professional victory in the Strasbourg Court,” he emphasized.

Ministry of Justice Responds

The Ministry of Justice released a statement responding to the Court’s decision, in which they highlighted that the “Strasbourg Court considered Giorgi Mamaladze’s sentence legal,” and “did not satisfy the applicant’s claim for moral compensation.”

According to the Ministry, the Strasbourg Court did not find any violation of the applicant’s right to a fair trial in terms of obtaining evidence and their reliability, and “did not call into question the findings of the investigative body and courts at the national level on the criminal case against the applicant.”

Per the Ministry’s assessment, the violations found by the Court are “of a procedural nature and do not affect the legality of the verdict, which was once again confirmed by the European Court itself today, according to which the criminal proceedings were fair as a whole, the search of the applicant was legal, and there was no ‘planting’ of cyanide.”

Deacon Giorgi Mamaladze was arrested at Tbilisi International Airport on 10 February, but the public only learned about it three days later, when the Chief Prosecutor of Georgia Irakli Shotadze announced at an emergency briefing that the deacon was arrested for planning “a murder of a high-ranking cleric.” On February 16, the Prosecutor’s Office clarified that the “high-ranking cleric” in question was not Ilia II, Patriarch of Georgia’s Orthodox Church. 

Following a trial, the Tbilisi City Court found Deacon Mamaladze guilty of plotting the murder of Shorena Tetruashvili, the Patriarch’s assistant, as well as of purchase and storage of firearms, (Articles 18, 108, and 236 of the Criminal Code), and sentenced him to 9 years in prison. 

The verdict was also upheld by higher instance courts before the Deacon’s lawyers decided to appeal to the ECtHR in January 2019 with the complaint that Article 6 (right to a fair trial) of the European Convention on Human Rights had been violated. 

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


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