TBILISI, DFWatch–A new forensic report concluding that the victim of a beating in 2005 had life-threatening injuries has led to tougher charges being introduced against Georgia’s former president Mikheil Saakashvili.
The Georgian Prosecutor’s Office announced the new charges against Saakashvili and other officials from his government Monday. They relate to the beating of parliamentarian Valeri Gelashvili in 2005.
In August, the office charged ex-President Mikheil Saakashvili and other officials with being responsible for organizing the attack on Gelashvili.
The attack took place a few weeks after the newspaper Rezonansi published an interview with the former parliamentarian in which he said he would have his property appropriated with no compensation, and also spoke about the private life of the ex-president.
According to the Prosecutor’s Office, the beating was Saakashvili’s ‘personal revenge’. In the charges, he is said to have instructed former Interior Minister Vano Merabishvili to plan the attack, and it took place on July 14, 2005, when two men forced Gelashvili’s car to stop, forced him out and proceeded to beat him.
The Prosecutor’s Office said Monday that according to the first court-appointed medical examination, Gelashvili had less severe injuries; however the victim conducted an alternative forensic investigation in Lithuania in August this year, and it led to a conclusion by a group of Lithuanian and Georgian experts that Gelashvili had life-threatening bodily injuries.
As a consequence of new conditions in the investigation, Saakashvili and Merabishvili, who are already charged with exceeding their powers, will now also be charged with organizing deliberate severe damage to someone’s health.
Erekle Kodua, former head of the Special Operative Department, a branch of the Interior Ministry, and Gia Siradze from the same department, who in the same case are charged with exceeding their powers, violence by using s weapon and appropriation of a gun which was someone else’s property, will now received charges of robbery and causing severe health life-threatening injuries.