TBILISI, DFWatch–The Prosecutor General’s Office in Georgia is planning to take a fresh look at a high profile trial against the son of deceased former President Zviad Gamsakhurdia.
“Prior to this decision, a comprehensive and objective investigation had been repeatedly conducted into the aforementioned cases, new witnesses had been interrogated, dozens of investigative and procedural actions had been carried out…, whereupon, in each of the cases, the investigation has obtained the entirety of incontrovertible evidence, which has excluded commission by the aforesaid persons of crimes wherefore they had been convicted,” the office wrote in a statement released Thursday.
The new evidence obtained by the investigating prosecutor is in line with a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights dating back to September 15, 2015. The court concluded that the investigation was conducted in a partial and biased manner.
The prosecutors in the case believe that the rights of the first president’s son, Tsotne Gamsakhurdia, were violated and will file a motion with Tbilisi Court of Appeals seeking a review of the judgments, due to newly revealed circumstances.
“It has been established that in the period of serving his sentence in N18 Correctional Facility, Tsotne Gamsakhurdia had been frequently expressing his protest regarding violence against prisoners, which resulted in the annoyance among senior officials of the Department of Corrections,” a statement by the Prosecutor General’s Office reads.
“Consequently, for the purpose of exemplary punishment, in accordance with the scenario pre-staged by senior officials of the aforesaid department, a provocation was organized against Tsotne Gamsakhurdia in the custodial facility.” Finally, Tsotne was sentenced to an additional f5 years in jail.
The statement by the Prosecutor General’s Office doesn’t relate to the Tsotne Gamsakhurdia’s other convictions.
In 2009, Gamsakhurdia was detained for illegal possession of a weapon and attempted murder. He was also accused of having ties with Russian special services.
At the trial, the Prosecutor General’s Office demanded a total of 15 years in prison, and claimed to add seven years more to the existing eight-year sentence on the basis of accusations of an attempt to bribe an employee of the prison hospital with GEL 500 (USD 300) to receive information about violations of human rights in the prison hospital.
In 2011, then President Mikheil Saakashvili pardoned Gamsakhurdia at the request of the patriarch, and he was released from prison.
Tsotne Gamsakhurdia’s conviction was a high profile case as in Georgia many people still have reverence for his father, Zviad Gamsakhurdia, who was ousted from the presidency in January 1992, then died under unclear circumstances in Western Georgia while leading an armed revolt against the central government.
Tsotne’s grandfather, Konstantine Gamsakhurdia, is considered one of the most influential Georgian novelists.