Cartographers' Case: Defendants Released on 20000 GEL Bail Each

Iveri Melashvili and Natalia Ilychova, accused of committing actions against the territories of Georgia, have been released from the courtroom. Judge Lela Kalichenko fully granted the motion of the prosecutor's office and changed the measure of pre-trial detention of the detainees into release on GEL 20,000 bail. Melashvili and Ilychova will each have to pay GEL 20,000 within 30 days.

Further, the prosecution demanded Iveri Melashvili and Natalia Ilychova be prohibited from crossing the state border and dismissed from their offices, which was also satisfied by the Court. 

The Prosecutor's Office had demanded to change the measure of restraint into GEL 30,000 bail.

A rally was held in front of the Tbilisi City Court simultaneously with the court hearing. Citizens and representatives of various political parties participated in the demonstration, claiming that the accused are innocent and until now, they have been imprisoned on political grounds, as both of them held positions during the rule of former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili. 

In turn, the government officials claim that they cannot see any "political grounds" surrounding the mentioned case. 

The Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia launched a probe against Iveri Melashvili, Head of the Service of Georgian State Border Delimitation, Demarcation and Border Relations of the Department of Neighboring Countries at the Foreign Ministry, and Natalia Ilychova, Chief Inspector of the Land Border Defense Department of the Border Police last year. POG accused them of conspiring to cede lands to Azerbaijan.

POG Investigation established that Melashvili and Ilychova hid the 1938 map and used the 1970-80s maps instead. As a result, Georgia lost 3,500 hectares of land. The hidden 1937-1938 original map was found in Natalia Ilichova’s office, POG noted. 

If found guilty by the court, both defendants face imprisonment from ten to fifteen years.

By Ana Dumbadze 

Image: Netgazeti 

28 January 2021 16:21