Zurab Adeishvili (IPN)

Zurab Adeishvili (IPN)

Tbilisi, DFWatch – Zurab Adeishvili, a key figure in the Saakashvili government throughout its rule in 2003-12, may soon be appointed as a chief prosecutor of Odessa Oblast, Ukrainian media reports.

Although the information hasn’t been confirmed officially, various media outlets in Ukraine report that one of Mikheil Saakashvili’s  first decisions as Odessa governor was to charge his closest ally and immediate confidant to reform prosecutors office of Odessa Oblast, a restile Russophone region of roughly 2.5 million and the place of Ukraine’s largest port.

According to Ukrainian Press, an online newspaper, information about Adeishvili appointment had been confirmed by several independent sources, including the staff member of the President Petro Poroshenko’s administration.

Zurab Adeishvili, 43, a professional lawyer, served as the Minister of Justice and the Prosecutor General during Saakashvili presidency, as well as a head of his administration, and is credited of being an architect of the thorough reforms in Georgia’s Prosecutor’s Office, as well as in the Justice Ministry and Courts.

After ceding power to the Georgian Dream coalition, many members of Saakashvili’s United National Movement have been charged with various crimes, including the former president himself.

In the fall of 2012, after defeat in the parliamentary elections of October 1, Adeishvili was the first high ranking official who fled the country, followed by many of the National Movement’s top people. He has since been caught up in several criminal investigations, as the new government seeks to hold former officials accountable.

The ex-justice minister is charged in three criminal cases, involving torture of prisoners, a violent crack-down on an opposition rally in 2007, the closing of a TV station, and a scheme to run an opposition-affiliated bank into bankruptcy.

Public opinion in Georgia over Zurab Adeishvili is drastically divided across the political lines. While many Georgians believe he was behind the reforms, which eliminated corruption among the prosecutors and judiciary, many others blame him of being an architect of the oppressive system, prosecution of the political opponents and bending under the courts.

Adeishvili was in the Interpol’s search list until April, when it decided to call off the search, without informing Georgian authorities about the motives behind this decision.