On this plot south of Tbilisi, chlorine leaked from a tank Tuesday evening, injuring about 80 people. (Photo: Londa Beria.)

TBILISI, DFWatch – The Chair of Kristali Ltd, the company responsible for a chlorine leak on Tuesday, was Friday sentenced to pre-trial detention.

July 3, a chlorine leak in the Lilo district of Tbilisi poisoned around 80 people.

Georgian Water Company said it was Kristali Ltd’s responsibility, because they had a contract to distribute chlorine and take care of security measures and quality.

The next day, Kristali director Levan Datuashvili was arrested, and today Tbilisi City Court reviewed his case.

During his trial, Datuashvili warned that if he is arrested, Tbilisi Water Company will have problems, as his company is the only one providing chlorine for water companies. He also said he is ready to cooperate with the investigation, but denies guilt.

Kristali’s lawyer claimed that the tank which leaked did not belong to his company, and asked the court not to make a ruling about Datuashvili’s detention.

But the court sentenced him to pre-trial detention until the next court hearing on August 27. The defendant was denied bail.

If he is found guilti, he may face from three to five years in jail.

Georgian Water & Power today responding with a short statement that the company has a large stock of chlorine and that Kristali is not the only company supplying GWP the substance.

An 18 year old man is still in a serious condition suffering from brain ischemia after having been poisoned by chlorine. Doctors say he should get better in a few days. Four more patients are still in the hospital after being posioned.