Appeals Court: Ex-President Saakashvili Guilty for Girgvliani Case

The Appeals Court of Georgia found former President of Georgia, Mikheil Saakashvili, guilty of abuse of power in the Alexander (Sandro) Girgvliani murder case.

By its verdict, the Appeals Court upheld the decision of the lower instance Tbilisi City Court decision made in January.

Saakashvili was sentenced to three years in prison in absentia, as he now lives in the Netherlands, and was deprived of the right to take any state post for one year and five months.

The investigation revealed that Saakashvili had promised then-Chief of the Constitutional Security Department to illegally pardon persons convicted of the murder of Sandro Girgvliani - Geronti Alania, Mikheil Bibiluridze, Avtandil Aptsiauri and Aleksandre Gachava. He then later pardoned them independently via the Pardon Commission.

The judge said that the ex-president abused his official powers when he pardoned former law enforcers arrested for the Girgvliani case without the participation of the Pardon Commission.

The Prosecutor’s Office (POG) claims that on January 27, 2006, at Cafe Shardin in Tbilisi, Sandro Girgvliani had a verbal argument with Tamar Merabishvili, the wife of Interior Minister Ivane Merabishvili, and Tatia Maisuradze, sitting at the table with David Akhalaia, then-Head of the Constitutional Security Department. The POG says that following the instructions of David Akhalaia, the officers of the Constitutional Security Department put Girgvliani and his friend into a car, illegally took them to Okrokana Cemetery and severely beat them. 

The body of the tortured Girgvliani was later discovered in the vicinity of Okrokana Cemetery. 

The POG says Saakashvili and the then high-ranking officials involved in the case concealed the crime and falsified the case materials.

By Thea Morrison

Photo: RFE/RL

Related story:

Tbilisi Court Finds Ex-President Saakashvili Guilty of Abuse of Power


19 July 2018 11:00