TBILISI, DFWatch–The trial of former interior minister Bacho Akhalaia and six others was rescheduled for today, because the judge had to make a decision about whether to allow evidence to be admitted.
The new evidence was presented by the Prosecutor’s Office. Defense lawyers working for Akhalaia demanded to have it rejected. The judge then left the courtroom to make a decision, but the hearing never resumed and instead was postponed for today at 14:00.
After Thursday’s hearing, Akhalaia’s lawyer Malkhaz Velinjashvili told journalists that his team plans to ask for bail for their client at the next hearing. The former defense and interior minister is currently in detention. His lawyers will also present a list of evidence.
Akhalaia was interior minister for two months before the parliamentary election. Before that, he served two years as defense minister, but people mostly remember him for the time when he was prison minister a few years earlier, during which he is believed to have laid the foundations for the system of abuse which shocked Georgians when a whistleblower went public with several prison videos in September, 2012.
Akhalaia, a close ally of President Mikheil Saakashvili, is charged with abuse of powers, illegal deprivation of liberty and torture. He was detained on November 7, 2012, as he came back to Georgia together with two former military officials who are accused of abuse of powers.