Vano Merabishvili

Vano Merabishvili quits post in Saakashvili’s party

By | January 24th, 2017|Categories: News|Tags: , |

Vano Merabishvili. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–A former interior minister and close ally of ex-President Mikheil Saakashvili resigned as secretary general of the National Movement on Monday, the latest episode of a turbulent few months for the party that reformed Georgia over the course of a decade. […]

Three ex-officials including Vano Merabishvili found guilty of beating MP in 2005

By | September 23rd, 2016|Categories: News|Tags: , , |

TBILISI, DFWatch–Tbilisi City Court has found a former interior minister and two other ex-officials guilty of beating a parliamentarian in 2005. The guilty verdict against Vano Merabishvili, Erekle Kodua and Gia Siradze […]

Georgia’s jailed ex-interior minister thinks Strasbourg ruling will free him

By | July 22nd, 2016|Categories: News|Tags: |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia’s former interior minister Vano Merabishvili, who has been in prison since May 2013, claims a recent ruling by the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg will soon lead to his release. After a two years’ silence, Merabishvili […]

‘Saakashvili ordered beating of MP who criticized him to set an example’

By | June 16th, 2016|Categories: News|Tags: , , , |

Irakli Okruashvili. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Former Defense Minister Irakli Okruashvili on Tuesday testified that ex-President Mikheil Saakashvili ordered the beating of a parliament member to make an example of what would happen to others if they dared openly criticize him. […]

Georgian president rejects politically motivated pardons

By | September 30th, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: , , , , , |

President Giorgi Margvelashvili. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili has rejected a call by his predecessor Mikheil Saakashvili that it is a test of ‘decency’ to pardon three former top government officials who are convicted of crimes committed while in office. Saakashvili, who is now […]

Council of Europe report criticizes Georgia for misusing pre-trial detention

By | September 30th, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: , , , , , |

Pedro Agramunt. (Council of Europe.) TBILISI, DFWatch–A European human rights observer claims Georgia is using excessive pre-trial detention for political reasons against former government officials. The new report is written by Pedro Agramunt from the Spanish People’s Party, and published by […]

Merabishvili promises revenge

By | April 17th, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: , |

Vano Merabishvili. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Former Interior Minister and ally of Mikheil Saakashvil promises to take revenge for every official involved in the detention of former government officials. “I will personally punish them. I will hold each of them responsible personally.” Vano Merabishvili, […]

Georgia modifies charges against five ex-officials including Saakashvili

By | March 14th, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: , , , , |

Mikheil Saakashvili. (Facebook.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The Georgian Prosecutor General’s Office on Saturday modified the charges against five former high officials, including ex-president Mikheil Saakashvili. In Saakashvili’s and former Interior Minister Vano Merabishvili’s cases, the charges […]

Foreign experts say evidence against Saakashvili is sound

By | October 24th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: , , , , |

Former President Mikheil Saakashvili. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Three foreign prosecutors visiting Georgia have concluded that there is enough evidence to continue the criminal prosecution of ex-President Mikheil Saakashvili and three of his associates. Georgia’s chief prosecutor’s office announced this on Thursday. […]

Merabishvili gets three years in jail for Girgvliani murder

By | October 20th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: , |

Vano Merabishvili. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Former Georgian interior minister Vano Merabishvili was Monday sentenced to three years in jail for involvement in the cover-up of the murder of a bank employee in 2006. Tbilisi City Court found the former minister guilty and also prohibited him from […]

Decision in Girgvliani trial expected in two weeks

By | September 24th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: , , , |

Former Interior Minister Vano Merabishvili is one of the defendants in the trial. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–A verdict in one Georgia’s most controversial murder cases is expected two weeks from now, with a former interior minister as one of the defendants. The defense made its closing remarks in Tbilisi City Court Wednesday in the trial about the murder […]

Merabishvili loses appeal in May 26 case

By | August 12th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: , |

Former Interior Minister Vano Merabishvili. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The Appeals Court in Georgia upheld the City Court’s guilty verdict against former Interior Minister Vano Merabishvili for the May 26, 2011, violent dispersal of anti-government protesters. Tbilisi City Court in February sentenced Merabishvili […]

Merabishvili found guilty of violent May 26, 2011, dispersal

By | February 27th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: |

Former Interior Minister Vano Merabishvili. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Former Georgian Interior Minister Vano Merabishvili was Thursday sentenced to four years and six months in jail in a case concerning the dispersal of a peaceful anti-government rally on May 26, 2011. Tbilisi City Court has been reviewing the case for […]

Merabishvili used employment program for election campaign

By | February 17th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: , , , |

The two defendants, Vano Merabishvili (left) and Zurab Chiaberashvili, at an earlier court appearance. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Former Minister of Internal Affairs Vano Merabishvili used an employment program as a way to campaign for the National Movement party ahead of the October 2012 parliamentary election. This is the conclusion of Kutaisi City Court in a trial that has […]

Video shows Merabishvili promising reward for ‘two corpses’

By | January 30th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: |

The video shows Interior Minister Vano Merabishvili instructing soldiers after a mutiny at a tank battalion base near Tbilisi in 2009. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–There may be added new charges against former Prime Minister and Interior Minister Vano Merabishvili, according to the head of parliament’s defense and security committee. Wednesday, a 4-minute long video was posted on Youtube, […]

Merabishvili demands a polygraph test

By | January 29th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: |

Vano Merabishvili. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Former Interior Minister Vano Merabishvili demands to be subjected to a lie detector test to prove he is telling the truth when he says he was threatened by the chief prosecutor. Merabishvili claimed he was taken from his cell at night, brought to an […]

Merabishvili inquest turns up nothing interesting: Prison Ministry

By | January 15th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: , |

Vano Merabishvili. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The Prison Ministry in Georgia says it did not notice anything interesting while looking into claims made by former Interior Minister Vano Merabishvili that he was taken out of his cell at night and threatened by the chief prosecutor. The ministry’s […]

Prison Ministry questions former interior minister about threats

By | January 4th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: , |

Former Interior Minister Vano Merabishvili. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Prison Ministry staff have questioned former Interior Minister Vano Merabishvili about his statement about being taken from his cell and threatened by the chief prosecutor. Merabishvili said in December that he was brought out of his cell and taken […]

National Movement reacts to mayor’s suspension

By | December 23rd, 2013|Categories: News, Politics|Tags: , , |

The National Movement’s parliamentary leader Davit Bakradze. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The National Movement party went on the offensive on Sunday and demanded an investigation into claims that the Prosecutor’s Office pressured two judges in a corruption case against Tbilisi Mayor Gigi Ugulava. Ugulava was Saturday night suspended from […]

Former interior minister says he was threatened by prosecutor

By | December 18th, 2013|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch–Former Interior Minister Vano Merabishvili accuses Chief Prosecutor of harassing him. The National Movement party asks to have the case investigated and that the responsible officials are dismissed. The government claims Merabishvili’s accusations […]

Former interior minister defends police reforms in court

By | November 7th, 2013|Categories: News|Tags: |

Former Interior Minister Vano Merabishvili held a speech in court about his police reforms. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The trial against former Interior Minister Vano Merabishvili for the violent dispersal of an anti-government protest in 2011 will begin November 19. It was on May 26, 2011, that an anti-government protest in front of parliament was brutally dispersed […]

Merabishvili trial to start October 7

By | September 26th, 2013|Categories: News|Tags: |

Vano Merabishvili. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The main court hearing in the case of the former interior minister Vano Merabishvili and the Kakheti governor Zurab Chiaberashvili will start on October 7. The main defendant must remain in pre-trial detention until then, the court decided. Both of […]

Merabishvili appears in court in Kutaisi, cracks jokes

By | September 13th, 2013|Categories: News|Tags: |

Vano Merabishvili in Kutaisi City Court Thursday. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia’s former Interior Minister Vano Merabishvili on Thursday appeared in City Court in Kutaisi in an extensive criminal trial. Merabishvili is charged in several different cases, including the violent dispersal of protesters on May 26, 2011. […]

Ex minister submits US Justice Department report in own defense

By | August 13th, 2013|Categories: News|Tags: , |

Police used excessive force on May 26, 2011, according to Georgian Young Lawyer’s Association. TBILISI, DFWatch–The lawyer of the detained former prime minister Vano Merabishvili demands to stop the criminal prosecution against his client, or at least release him on bail, after the publication of a report commissioned by the US Justice Department. […]

EU parliamentarians visited Georgia’s jailed opposition leader

By | July 18th, 2013|Categories: News|Tags: |

Vano Merabishvili during a court appearance. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–EU’s enlargement commissioner Štefan Füle has spoken by phone to the UNM Secretary General and former Interior Minister Vano Merabishvili, who is in detention waiting to face trial. According to Merabishvili’s Facebook page, the European […]

New charges against Merabishvili

By | June 24th, 2013|Categories: News|Tags: |

Former Interior Minister Vano Merabishvili. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia’s Prosecutor’s Office on Monday introduced a new charge against former Interior Minister Vano Merabishvili, that of abuse of powers in the case of Sandro Girgvliani’s murder. In a statement, the office said Merabishvili took a number […]

Merabishvili to get a TV

By | June 19th, 2013|Categories: News|Tags: |

Vano Merabishvili. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The former interior minister Vano Merabishvili, who is in prison awaiting trial, will get a TV set in his cell today or tomorrow, according to the prison minister, Sozar Subari. Merabishvili, who is a long-time ally of President Saakashvili and […]

Merabishvili on hunger strike, demands TV in his cell

By | June 18th, 2013|Categories: News|Tags: |

Vano Merabishvili during his first court appearance in Kutaisi last month. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Vano Merabishvili, Secretary General of the United National Movement party, has gone on hunger strike in prison to demand a TV set. When contacted by DF Watch, representatives of the Prison Ministry were only willing to say that he really […]

Saakashvili’s party to hold primary while gen secretary is in jail

By | June 18th, 2013|Categories: News, Politics|Tags: , |

Vano Merabishvili. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–President Mikheil Saakashvili’s party is still planning to hold primary elections to select a candidate for the presidential election, even though party secretary Vano Merabishvili is in detention. The names of the participants have not been revealed, […]

MEP Lisek visits Saakashvili ally in prison

By | June 4th, 2013|Categories: News|Tags: , |

Krzysztof Lisek, Polish MEP from the center-right European People’s Party, was surprised to find that Saakashvili ally Vano Merabishvili did not have a TV set and no contact with with his family. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Vano Merabishvili says he is optimistic, but complains about lack of information, according to Krzysztof Lisek, Member of the European Parliament (MEP), after meeting the former Prime Minister in Matrosov Prison Tuesday. Representatives of […]

Former interior minister must remain in detention

By | May 31st, 2013|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch–Tbilisi City Court placed Vano Merabishvili in pre-trial detention; the second time such a measures is imposed on the former interior minister. This time additional charged were added since his hearing in Kutaisi City Court last week, dealing with […]

Lithuanian businessman detained in Georgia

By | May 30th, 2013|Categories: News|Tags: , |

TBILISI, DFWatch–The Prosecutor’s Office in Georgia has confirmed for DF Watch that a Lithuanian businessman has been detained. According to the office, Saulius Vaitkevičius, owner of supermarket chain Populi, is charged with appropriation of another company’s […]

Expanded charges against former interior minister

By | May 28th, 2013|Categories: News|Tags: |

Former Minister of Internal Affairs Vano Merabishvili is held personally responsible for the violent dispersal of demonstrators two years ago which led to at least two deaths and was accompanied by a nationwide crackdown on opposition groups. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The charges against former Prime Minister Vano Merabishvili concerning events on May 26, 2011 were Tuesday expanded. The violent dispersal of peaceful anti-government protesters by police and regime loyal vigilantes two years ago resulted in at least […]

Saakashvili’s UNM protests against detention of party secretary

By | May 28th, 2013|Categories: News|Tags: |

Vano Merabishvili, former interior minister and current party secretary of the National Movement party of President Mikheil Saakashvili, appearing in Kutaisi City Court last week. Co-defendant Zurab Chiaberashvili on the right. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Members of parliament for President Saakashvili’s National Movement party have again taken leave from their duties as a sign of protest. Party spokesman Giorgi Baramidze says they will not attend plenary sessions until all the ‘political […]

Merabishvili moved to Matrosov prison

By | May 23rd, 2013|Categories: News|Tags: |

Vano Merabishvili in Kutaisi City Court yesterday. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Former Interior Minister Vano Merabishvili on Thursday was moved from Kutaisi, in western Georgia, to the capital, and placed in the so-called Matrosov prison, where former government officials and others are offered slightly better conditions […]

Ex interior minister placed in pretrial detention

By | May 23rd, 2013|Categories: News|Tags: |

Former Interior Minister Vano Merabishvili (left) at his first court hearing. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI–Kutaisi City Court Wednesday placed former Interior Minister Vano Merabishvili in pretrial detention. Zurab Chiaberashvili was released on bail. The hearing lasted five hours. Both Merabishvili, Secretary General of Saakashvili’s United National […]

First court appearance for ex interior minister today

By | May 22nd, 2013|Categories: News|Tags: |

Former Interior Minister Vano Merabishvili says the charges are ridiculous. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The City Court in Kutaisi will this afternoon decide whether to place Saakashvili ally Vano Merabishvili and National Movement party member Zurab Chiaberashvili in pretrial detention. Meanwhile their supporters and other UNM members are gathered […]

Georgia detains former interior minister

By | May 21st, 2013|Categories: News|Tags: |

Former Interior Minister Vano Merabishvili during his first interrogation December 1, 2012. (Police.ge.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Police in Georgia have detained former Interior Minister and Saakashvili faithful Vano Merabishvili. He is charged with sabotaging the investigation of the murder of a bank employee, Sandro Girgvliani, in 2006, appropriation and embezzlement in connection with […]

Ex intelligence head attacks former interior minister

By | April 16th, 2013|Categories: News|Tags: , , |

Data Akhalaia, former head of Georgia’s domestic intelligence service CSD/KUD, attacks former interior minister Vano Merabishvili in an open letter on Facebook. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–A message posted on Facebook allegedly by a former official who fled from Georgia after the October elections has triggered a massive outcry in the country. The message purports to be written by Data Akhalaia, former head of Georgia’s domestic […]

Saakashvili’s party recruiting people to weaken government

By | February 2nd, 2013|Categories: Elections '12-'13, News|Tags: , |

Impatient. National Movement Secretary Vano Merabishvili can’t wait four years for the next election. “There are other methods,” he says. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch — President Mikheil Saakashvili’s political party says it can’t wait four years for a change of power and instead will try to ‘weaken’ the Ivanishvili government. Secretary General of the National Movement, Vano Merabisvhili, says they do not plan […]

Ex-minister questioned again about fake passport

By | December 8th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: , |

TBILISI, DFWatch — Former Interior Minister Vano Merabishvili was Friday questioned a second time about his attempt to leave the country with a fake passport November 30. The interior ministry has made public several witness statements seeming to confirm that […]

Testimonies published in Merabishvili forged passport case

By | December 6th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: , |

TBILISI, DFWatch — Georgian authorities are continuing their investigation into former interior minister Vano Merabishvili for trying to leave the country with a forged passport. According to the interior ministry, Merabishvili gave them false information on purpose […]

Ex-minister questioned about forged passport

By | December 3rd, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: , |

TBILISI, DFWatch — Former Interior Minister Vano Merabishvili was Saturday interrogated. He did not comment except saying it’s a pity that the prime minister is using the interior ministry as a tool of repression against the opposition. The interior ministry […]

Ex-minister wanted to fly to Armenia with forged passport

By | December 1st, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: , |

TBILISI, DFWatch — The former interior minister Vano Merabishvili is under investigation for having tried to board a flight from Tbilisi go Yerevan Friday with a forged passport. Merabishvili was traveling together with President Saakashvili and others. According […]

Ex-minister Merabishvili denies wrongdoing

By | November 26th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch — A former Interior Minister who is accused of abuse of power says he is ready to answer all questions, but that the accusations against him can not be taken seriously. The case broke a few days ago, when the Interior Ministry provided the prosecutor’s […]

Merabishvili may be investigated

By | November 24th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch — The interior ministry in Georgia has asked the prosecutors to investigate former Interior Minister Vano Merabishvili. Ministry spokesperson Nino Giorgobiani Saturday morning explained at a press conference that the material submitted to […]

Government’s newfound leftism considered suspicious

By | July 4th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – The government’s action plan ‘More Benefits to People’ is entirely based on social issues. This is now sparking criticism from experts and government opponents. The first promise new Prime Minister Vano Merabishvili made was to give each family […]

Petre Tsiskarishvili explains Merabishvili’s promotion

By | July 3rd, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

President Mikheil Saakashvili Saturday appointed interior minister Vano Merabishvili as prime minister. DF Watch spoke to Petre Tsiskarishvili about the surprise announcement. Tsiskarishvili is parliamentary leader of the majority National Movement party. He says that […]

Georgia’s new prime minister makes bold promises

By | July 3rd, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Georgia’s new prime minister Vano Merabishvili has already started making promises, as only three months are left until the parliamentary elections. In a speech Monday in the Gldani district of Tbilisi, near a construction site of a vocational […]

Saakashvili may have violated constitution

By | July 2nd, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – President Mikheil Saakashvili’s appointment of a former interior minister as prime minister may have been in violation of the constitution, and therefore invalid. One of Georgia’s most experienced constitutional experts, Vakhtang Khmaladze, says […]

Georgia gets new minister for employment

By | July 2nd, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: , |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Georgia’s new prime minister Vano Merabishvili today presented his employment minister, which is a new post. “I have initiative to set up specific Employment Ministry, which will take care to solve problems of employment. A database of unemployed […]

Georgia’s new prime minister has a controversial past

By | July 1st, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – The goal of appointing Ivane Merabishvili, the powerful Interior Minister, to the post of Prime Minister is to solve problems in health care and agriculture – this is what Merabishvili said on Saturday, after being appointed to this post. He […]

Saakashvili makes Merabishvili new prime minister

By | June 30th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Georgia’s president Mikheil Saakashvili says he is appointing Interior Minister Vano Merabishvili as new prime minister. Saakashvili announced the decision from his presidential palace in Tbilisi shortly before 19 local time Saturday. Imedi TV broke […]

Georgia’s interior minister: No-one has been shot by police for years

By | April 27th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: , |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Georgia’s Interior Minister says Georgia is the only country in the world where police haven’t used weapons against a criminal for three years. “For the last three-four years no person has died from policemen’s weapon in Georgia, no policeman died […]

Georgia relaxes detention practice

By | January 6th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: , |

TBILISI, DFWatch – The Georgian interior minister Vano Merabishvili (pictured) claims he is relaxing a controversial practice called administrative detention. Prisoners will be able to make phone calls, receive family members, talk to their lawyer and have more time to shower and be in the open air, the minister promises. The reason for the [...]