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Human Rights Center will monitor the case of Akaki Khuskivadze and Akaki Kobaladze

01.12.2020

 
Human Rights Center (HRC) will study the criminal case initiated against Akaki Khuskivadze and Akaki Kobaladze accused in causing the death of the chairman of the Isani District Election Commission; HRC will further observe the case hearings in the court. 

Beka Basilaia and Shota Tutberidze, the defence counsels of Akaki Khuskivadze and Akaki Kobaladze  the defendants remaining in custody applied to HRC in writing and informed HRC in detail regarding the procedural and other forms of violations existing on the case, as well as regarding the alleged political motives. 

The case concerns the sudden death caused by a heart attack of  Tedore Gobejishvili, 43, the chairman of the Isani District Election Commission.  At the briefing of November 7, Giorgi Khelashvili, a representative of Georgian Dream, accused National Movement of the pressure and intimidation exerted on the chairpersons of district election commissions. Khelashvili said that representatives of United National Movement threatened with punitive measures some of the chairpersons of district election commissions exerting  pressures and intimidations on them. One of such pressures was exerted on the chairman of the Isani District Commission suffering from the pressure to the extent causing his death.  The representative of Georgian Dream called on the law enforcers to initiate a criminal case. In response, the law enforcers detained Akaki Khuskivadze and Akaki Kobaladze on the same day.

The following charges are brought against Akaki Khuskivadze and Akaki Kobaladze:
1) Directly offering to an official money for his benefit, in order that he take a certain action during the exercise of his official rights and performance of duties for the benefit of the bribe-giver, the offense provided for by article 339.1 of the Criminal Code. 

2) A threat of damaging health, when the person threatened began to have a reasonable sensation of fear that the threat will be carried out, the act committed by a group of persons, the offense provided for by article 151.2(a) of the Criminal Code.

3)  Illegal restriction of a person’s freedom to act, i.e. coercing him mentally to perform an action abstaining from the performance of which is his right, the act committed by a group of persons, the offense provided for by article 150.2(b) of the Criminal Code. 

Moreover, Akaki Kobaladze is accused of illegal purchase and storage of ammunitions, the offense provided for by article 236.3  of the Criminal Code.

On November 9, 2020, the court remanded Akaki Khuskivadze and Akaki Kobaladze in custody applying  a measure of restraint and substantiating the ruling by the risk that the accused might committ a new offense, destroy the evidence and influence the witnesses. 

According to the defence counsels, the accusation is based on unreliable evidence from which a justified assumption made by the prosecution that the accused may commit a new offense is the weakest among the arguments. Furthermore, when ruling on the measure of restraint, the court did not provide arguments why other less restrictive measures of restraint would fail to meet the objectives of the measures.

HRC assumes there are alleged political motives in the ongoing criminal case. The pre-trial hearings of the case are scheduled for December 30 to be monitored by HRC. HRC shall further thoroughly study the files of the criminal case.

HRC is monitoring the trial of Akaki Khuskivadze and Akaki Kobaladze as part of a public events monitoring project. The HRC monitoring also concerns other 21 criminal and administrative cases with alleged political motives. 

The project Public Events Monitoring is supported by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED).

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