Web Portal on Human Rights in Georgia

Human Rights Center Evaluates the Verdict into the so-called Cyanide Case

05.09.2017
 
Human Rights Center does not agree with the verdict issued by the Tbilisi City Court on the so-called cyanide case, based on which Deacon Giorgi Mamaladze was sentenced to 9-year-imprisonment. 

The lawyer of Human Rights Center was involved in the court proceedings and defended the interests of the Deacon Giorgi Mamaladze. Consequently, the organization possesses full information about the violations both in the criminal case and in the court procedures. 

The court hearings into the so-called cyanide case were closed during 6 months, though there was no particular necessity of it. Human Rights Center was permanently requesting the court to make the process public and close only concrete trials in case of particular necessity. 

Human Rights Center believes that with closing the trials the court contributed to the reduced transparency of the court process and decrease of the public trust towards judiciary system. It is particularly alarming when the court closes trials into high profile case. 

During the 6 months, the court questioned up to 120 witnesses, studied 10 volumes of evidence, heard testimonies of the investigators and employees of the Tbilisi International Airport, also heard the audio and video recordings, which show that the main witness into the case – Irakli Mamaladze is provoking Deacon Giorgi Mamaladze to speak up. The court could not hear how Giorgi Mamaladze plotted murder of the secretary- referent of the Georgian Patriarchate Shorena Tetruashvili or another person. The court did not hear where, how and from whom the deacon purchased the cyanide, though investigative bodies were carrying out permanent surveillance of his phone calls. 

The court could not hear well-grounded answers from the investigative bodies why there was no video-recording of the search of the deacon and his baggage in the airport, though they could provide the video-recordings from less important investigative operations. 

On September 5, the court convicted Deacon Giorgi Mamaladze under the Articles 18 and 108 of the Criminal Code of Georgia, which refers to the plotting of the premeditated murder. However, the court did not share the allegation of the prosecutor’s office about the self-interest. Having excluded the self-interest, there was pre-condition for acquitting the accused person but the court changed the qualification of the charge and indicated revenge as the motive of the plotted murder. 

Human Rights Center believes the principles of equality of arms and adversarial trials were breached into the so-called cyanide case; senior government officials blatantly violated the presumption of innocence of Giorgi Mamaladze;  the prosecutor’s office provided the court with the materials which contained information about private life of the deacon, though they had no connection with the criminal case; the unified criminal case was divided; the fact of the cyanide purchase was not confirmed; the right to fair trial guaranteed under the European Convention on Human Rights was breached.

Human Rights Center 

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