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Former MP Valery Gelbakhiani Arrested


Jimsher Rekhviashvili, Radio “Freedom”

Early in the morning of February 20, 2012 Valery Gelbakhiani was arrested on Georgian-Armenian border. The former MP and head of late Badri Patarkatsishvili’s election HQ is accused of conspiracy to alter the constitutional structure of Georgia by violence, to overthrow the government or grab power.

Valery Gelbakhiani was declared wanted in February of 2008. The former MP arrived in Georgia to visit his sick mother. What is Valery Gelbakhiani accused of and who wants his release under vouch?

The MIA spread information about the detention of Valery Gelbakhiani. The official website of the MIA states that former MP charged under Article 315 Part I of the Criminal Code of Georgia was arrested when crossing Georgian-Armenian state border on February 20, 2012. During the detention, Gelbakhiani was together with his son Irakli Gelbakhiani:  “He decided to arrive in Georgia hoping the civil society, political parties and diplomatic corps will assist them. Unless the current judiciary system allows him to see his dying mother, then he will at least enjoy his right as a prisoner to attend the funeral of his mother. So, it was motive of his arrival in Georgia.”

Valery Gelbakhiani’s mother is really very sick. 80-year-old woman is breathing with the support of the artificial breathing machine in the intensive care unit of Sachkhere district hospital. Valery Gelbakhiani expressed wish to visit Georgia and cooperate with the investigation several days ago and then he petitioned to the court not to use preventive measure against him. Leader of the Georgian Christian-Democrat Movement Giorgi Targmadze stated he wanted to be a guarantor for the former MP. However, the court did not change its initial judgment about imprisonment issued on February 2, 2008.

“It is next treachery, inhuman and illegal behavior of the Georgian government. It contradicts the law and we will do our best to convince the court to release him under guarantee in order to allow him to see his family and sick mother as soon as possible,” Giorgi Targamadze said.

According to the investigation, Valery Gelbakhiani is accused of Conspiracy to alter the constitutional structure of Georgia by violence, to overthrow the government or grab power. In January of 2008 the MIA spread a video-recording where the head of Patarkatsishvili’s election HQ Valery Gelbakhiani together with the former judge Maya Gabunia was giving instructions to the head of Special Operative Department Erekle Kodua how to arrest the Minister of Internal Affairs of Georgia and how to grab the power.

Valery Gelbakhiani’s family members hope the judiciary will be loyal with him because of several factors. His son Irakli Gelbakhiani states that the main point is that Valery Gelbakhiani has not breached a law and much has changed for the last four years. More precisely, “Badri Patarkatsishvili died and Ms Gabunia is already free…So much time has passed; besides that the political situation has changed; Valery Gelbakhiani did not commit a crime; he did not intend any coup and did not do anything different from the everyday statements of our politicians who claim to protect the votes with the support of people. Besides that, he has not made any proposals to Kodua or anybody else,” Irakli Gelbakhiani told the Radio “Freedom.”

The ruling party also responded to the detention of the former MP. Chair of the Legal Committee of the Parliament Pavle Kublashvili said the court will make decision with regard to Valery Gelbakhiani’s fate.

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