TBILISI, DFWatch–The Prosecutor’s Office in Georgia has brought in new charges against a lawyer representing former Defense Minister Bacho Akhalaia.
Prosecutors have already charged Goga Oniani, a former police official, with harassing a man printing t-shirts for the opposition during the Saakashvili regime, and today charged him with having harassed one more person the same way.
In both cases, prosecutors accuse Oniani of having arranged it so that marijuana was planted on the detainee, and made sure he was sent away to jail for possession of drugs.
Formally, the new charges against Oniani are abuse of power and falsification of evidence of a particularly serious crime, as well as political persecution and intentional illegal detention.
The Prosecutor’s Office said in a statement on Wednesday that their investigation has found that Oniani on October 17, 2011, had Levan Mdinaradze detained.
At this time, a new opposition coalition was just getting started called Georgian Dream, which Mdinaradze was a supporter of.
He was taken, without being searched, to the administrative building of the police in the Tbilisi district Gldani-Nadzaladevi, where Oniani was the deputy head.
Investigators claim that Oniani falsified evidence by giving marijuana to an investigator and telling him to pretend that it was found on the detainee during a search. Oniani also told the detainee that he was being punished for distributing t-shirts with Georgian Dream logo.
Prosecutors characterize it as persecution based on different political views.
Mdinaradze was convicted of illegal purchase and possession of drugs, a crime which is punishable with eleven years in jail.
The Prosecutor’s Office says the investigation is not yet finished.
Oniani was detained a few weeks ago and charged with abuse of power and falsification of evidence concerning an incident which also happened in 2011.
He allegedly ordered the detention of Davit Shatirishvili, manager of Dao Print LTD, a company which was printing logos on t-shirts for the Georgian Dream coalition, and prosecutors said, told an investigator to put marijuana in Shatirishvili’s pocket and pretend it was discovered during a search.
Tbilisi City Court released him on USD 12 000 bail.
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