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What is the connection between Judge Nunu Nemsitsveridze and the case of 'Alive Dead?'


ნუნუ ნემსიწვერიძე

“It is Judge Nunu Nemsitsveridze, who years ago, judged the man and sent him to prison but six months later, the person, for whose murder he was convicted, appeared alive. Afterwards, Nunu Nemsitsveridze was dismissed from the judiciary system but the Georgian Dream returned her later. She issued ruling on the arrest of Davit Kirkitadze of UNM and last month, on February 15, Murusidze-Chinchaladze appointed her for life,” one of the leaders of the United National Movement Nika Melia said on March 12 in his interview with Rustavi 2 after the court hearing against Davit Kirkitadze in Gurjaani. 

Member of the political council of the UNM Davit Kirkitadze was accused of the assault on police officer in Velistsikhe Village, Gurjaani municipality on December 16, 2018. On the Inauguration Day of the president-elect Salome Zurabishvili, the opposition members planned to arrive in Telavi and hold protest demonstration. The police blocked the roads to Telavi in several places. “We will arrive in Telavi anyway and will not allow her to hold inauguration because she is neither commander-in-chief nor president,” Kirkitadze stated. He tried to get into one of the buses through window and beat and kicked the police officer several times. 

On December 17, Kirkitadze was arrested based on the judge’s ruling. Judge Davit Narimanishvili at the Gurjaani District Court used imprisonment as compulsory measure against him. Later, the UNM and their supporters blamed Judge Narimanishvili in corruption. They said, Narimanishvili covered large amount of bank loans early in term on the day when he passed ruling on Kirkitadze’s imprisonment.  

Judge Nunu Nemsitsveridze was put in charge to substantially examine Kirkitadze’s case. The lawyers several times solicited the release of Kirkitadze under the bail or guardianship but all in vain. Judge Nemsitsveradze did not satisfy any solicitations. If found guilty, Davit Kirkitadze may be sent to prison for the term from 4 up to 7 years. 

Response of the High Council of Justice on Melia’s accusations 

High Council of Justice responded to the accusations of Nika Melia against Judge Nunu Nemsitsveradze. 

“On March 12, Gurjaani District Court heard the case of Davit Kirkitadze. Representatives of the opposition political parties also attended the hearing. Some politicians made unethical statements towards the judge and they tried to disturb the process. They threatened the judge, accused her in absurd violations and insulted her. 

Besides that, Nika Melia of UNM misled the society and stated that years ago Nunu Nemsitsveridze convicted a person for the murder of alive person. Nunu Nemsitsveradze has never passed verdict over similar case.
We would like to remind the politicians that any judge is independent in his/her professional activities. She/he obeys only the Constitution and the law. Consequently, it is inadmissible to connect the judgments of the judge with political motives because she did not satisfy the solicitations of any party of the trial. 

It is inadmissible to attempt political oppression on the judiciary system and judges through intimidation, disinformation and insulting, non-ethical statements which aim to encourage public mistrust towards the judiciary authority with the attempt of the discrimination of the judiciary corps.” 

The case of the “alive dead”

On June 27, 2007 Kakheti regional department of MIA started preliminary investigation into accidental murder of Lasha Chopikashvili by Aleksandre Bakhutov. The latter was arrested, who confessed murder of Lasha Chopikashvili as a result of inhuman treatment in Telavi police; he also admitted that Aslan Gauarashvili, Aleksi Tsotsiashvili and Vefkhia Khachoshvili assisted him to hide the body.

Judge Nunu Nemsitsveradze imposed pre-trial imprisonment on Aleksi Bakhutov as compulsory measure. 

The prosecutor’s office charged the rest three persons for hiding the murder of Lasha Chopikashvili and for the participation in the crime. Telavi District Court sentenced them to imprisonment. 

During the preliminary investigation, the accidental murder of Lasha Chopikashvili was re-qualified into intentional murder punishable under Article 108 of the Criminal Code of Georgia. 

On August 24, 2007, prosecutor Zurab Javakhishvili of the Kakheti regional prosecutor’s office petitioned the Telavi district court to pass verdict over the criminal case against Bakhutov without substantial hearing. Judge Natela Jashiashvili sentenced Aleksi Bakhutov to 6-year imprisonment though the investigation had not yet found the body of the “killed” man.

On September 20, Lasha Chopikashvili was found alive in Telavi, for whose murder Aleksi Bakhutov was convicted. He said he was in the mountains as a pasture. The police officers, under oppression and intimidation, forced him to write testimony that Aleksi Bakhutov tried to kill him. 

In the beginning of 2007, Aleksi Bakhutov learned from the investigator and the lawyer that Lasha Chopikashvili was alive and all this time he was in the mountains. Investigator Z. Tsiklauri informed him that Chopikashvili had told the prosecutor’s office in his testimony that Bakhutov had hit him with cudgel and fell into the water; after recovery he ran away from the village. 

On October 19, convicted Aleksi Bakhutov petitioned the Public Defender of Georgia and noted that he had admitted the uncommitted crime as a result of torture and inhuman treatment. 

On November 22, 2007 Judge Nunu Nemsitsveridze at the Telavi District Court examined the solicitation of the prosecutor Zurab Javakhishvili of the Kakheti regional prosecutor’s office about the plea-agreement with the defendants Khachoshvili, Tsotsiashvili and Gauarashvili. The judge satisfied the solicitation and found the defendants guilty; they paid money to the budget and were released from the courtroom based on the plea agreement. 

As for Aleksi Bakhutov, Kakheti regional prosecutor’s office re-qualified his charge into the attempted intentional murder. Judge Marine Tsertsvadze sentenced Aleksi Bakhutov to one-year imprisonment. 

Promoted judges and prosecutors

After 2012 Parliamentary Elections, the supervisor prosecutor of the case “Alive Dead” Zurab Javakhishvili was promoted to the position of the Telavi district deputy prosecutor. After the Information Center of Kakheti published articles about the issue, the General Inspection of the Ministry of Justice started examination of Aleksi Bakhutov’s case. 

In March 2013, Telavi district deputy prosecutor Zurab Javakhishvili was convicted for professional negligence in accordance to the Article 342 of the Criminal Code of Georgia. 

Prosecutor’s office did not request compulsory measure against Zurab Javakhishvili. “We believe Zurab Javakhishvili is victim. If we had seen necessity to send him to prison, we could do that. However, we did not see the need to use preliminary imprisonment or bail against him. He named those persons in his testimony from whom he received instructions. Those people no longer work in the system. None of them, whom he mentioned, work in the prosecutor’s office now,” then chief prosecutor of Georgia Archil Kbilashvili told ICK.

Finally, prosecutor’s office used diversion against Zurab Javakhishvili and cancelled criminal liability against him.

In 2013, Zurab Javakhishvili became the head of the legal aid service of the Telavi City Hall.

In 2004-2011, Tamaz Tsabutashvili was the Kakheti regional prosecutor. The decisions over the case of “Alive Dead” were agreed with him and his deputy Vazha Magradze. On July 4, 2011, based on the edict N351 of the President Saakashvili, Tamaz Tsabutashvili was appointed as the member of the Constitutional Court of Georgia for 10 years term. Vazha Magradze is still Kakheti region deputy prosecutor. 

Marine Tsertsvadze is still the judge in the Telavi District Court. In 2009-2012 she was deployed in the Tbilisi City Court. 

Natela Jashiashvili was judge until 2015 (including). In 2009-2012 she was judge in the Vani District Court; in 2010-2012 she executed duties of the judge in the Batumi City Court; in 2012-2013 she was judge in the Batumi City Court; in March 2013, she was appointed as a judge in the Gurjaani District Court; in 2014-2015 she executed duties of the judge in Telavi District Court. She was appointed on the position for 10 years term but having turned 65 she had to retire. Natela Jashiashvili has sued this norm of the law in the Constitutional Court of Georgia. 

Nunu Nemsitsveridze was judge in the Akhmeta District Court till 2009 (including). From 2010 she was under the reserve of the human resources department. In 2010-2014, she was consultant of the legal clinic of the Telavi State University; in the same period she gave interview to the TV-Company “Channel Nine” about the case of Dead Alive and said that nobody had oppressed her with regard to this case unlike other cases. “I asked Bakhutov whether he had really killed Lasha Chopikashvili. Whether he was sure that he killed him with the cudgel. He said he had really killed him and added that he had buried the body. Afterwards, he took the body out, took to the River Stori and threw in the water. There was no oppression on me unlike other cases. In 2009, I was in reserve of the HR department because I did not obey their instructions blindly.” In 2014-2015, Nunu Nemsitsveridze was advocate of the Kakheti bureau of the Legal Aid Service; in February 2016 she was appointed as magistrate judge of the Gurjaani district court in Kvareli municipality. On December 27, 2018 the High Council of Justice lifetime appointed Judge Nunu Numsitsveridze. 

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