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Prosecutor’s Office Used Loyal Charge for Family Members of Eka Beselia

Maka Malakmadze,Batumi

“I heard politically grounded verdict of Saakashvili announced by Judge Konstantine Tsatsua,” stated Eka Beselia, the head of “Movement for United Georgia” in Batumi Court on December 22, where the trial on his brother and son finished. Prosecutor facilitated the charge. Judge Jemal Kiknadze postponed announcement of the verdict for 5:00 pm on December 24.

“My family members are political hostages and the government needs them to oppress me. I want to tell Mikheil Saakashvili to leave my family members alone and release political hostages, because he cannot use them for my oppression. I am not going to change my position. This is my final position”, stated Eka Beselia after the trial.

The trial on the incident in café-bar Elza lasted for more than one month in Batumi Civil Court. When the trial finished on December 22, parties began to debate and it lasted all day long.

Prosecutor changed qualification of the accusation towards four detainees. More precisely, they changed minor hooliganism into resistance to the police, which envisage less strict liability.

According to the prosecutor’s office, having assessed the testimonies made during the court investigation the prosecutor’s office decided to facilitate the charge of Sergo Beselia, Rati Milorava, Roin Tsagareli and Valeri Kirvalidze and use less strict part of the article for their liability.“There are enough proofs to confirm the guiltiness of Sergo Beselia, Rati Milorava, Roin Tsagareli and Valeri Kirvalidze. However, the prosecutor’s office envisaged circumstances which appeared during the investigation and requested less strict articles for their liability,” reported the prosecutor’s office.

Prosecutor’s office requested 18-month-imprisonment and fine of 2 000 GEL for juveniles Rati Milorava and Valeri Kirvalidze for the incident in café-bar Elza in Batumi. This punishment is minimal for the crime they have committed. Sergo Beselia and Roin Tsagareli will be sent to prison for 2 years and 6 months and will be fined with 4 000 GEL each.

“Arguments of the prosecutor are absolutely unacceptable and unfair for the defense side. We cannot accept it as favor”, said attorney Lili Gelashvili about altered qualification.

State officials Konstantine Tsatsua and Zviad Pkhakadze did not make comments with media. They said the reason of the facilitating the charge was no criminal record of the accused.

Lili Gelashvili, the attorney of Sergo Beselia and Rati Milorava presented petition of political parties and public figures to the court where the detention of both of them was unfair. They also introduced references of Archimandrite of Jvari Monastery in Mtskheta Father Konstantine about Rati Milorava and Sergo Beselia.

The defense side emphasized the violations in the case. They stated that their investigative activities were illegal and corresponding documents were not attached to case materials. The defense side requested to annul recognition protocols and police uniforms which were attached to the case materials by investigator later; however it is not mentioned where the shorts were got hold of.

According to the defense side, video-recording which was shown at a trial, exposes how Prosecutor Giorgi Davitashvili oppresses Rati Milorava. He compels Milorava to take part in recognition.

On December 22 nearly every leader of Georgian opposition parties attended the trial and we interviewed them after the trial.

Davit Usupashvili, Republic Party: “I hope the judge will try to pass fair judgment. Though it must be noted that the prosecutor facilitated the charge and accusation on organized crime was canceled. I think the judge has a chance to deliver fair judgment.

Levan Gachechiladze: “I have never been so worried. As I saw they are political hostages, whose fate is in the hands of law enforcement bodies?”

Eka Beselia thanked the accused Valeri Kirvalidze and Roin Tsagareli for their resistance and bravery. “The most precious thing for the person is freedom. You did not value it more than dignity and you did not try to get free through dishonest way. They are victims of this primitively planned, shameful provocation. I listened to the political sentence, which Saakashvili stated by means of Tsatsua. I am ready for this sentence and even for more.”

Sergo Beselia, Rati Milorava, Valeri Kirvalidze and Roin Tsagareli were detained on August 19 2009 in Kobuleti after the incident in café “Elza”.

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