Ex-Georgian official seeks political asylum abroad

Data Akhalaia, former head of the Interior Ministry Constitutional Security Department.
Agenda.ge, 23 Apr 2014 - 16:32, Tbilisi,Georgia

A former Georgian senior Interior Ministry official has asked Greece for political asylum.

Data Akhalaia, who chaired the Interior Ministry’s Constitutional Security Department, made this decision as "a political persecution had been committed against him and his family in Georgia”, Akhalaia’s lawyer said.

However lawyer Irakli Zakareishvili did not give any further information about his defendant’s current whereabouts.

Meanwhile Georgia’s Foreign Ministry said neither them nor the Georgian Embassy to Greece had any official information about Akhalaia’s so-called asylum.

Akhalaia was found guilty by Tbilisi City Court of abusing official power in a case related to beating policemen in 2005. He was sentenced to three years and nine months in jail in absentia.

His brother, former Defence Minister Bacho Akhalaia, has been in prison since November 2012 after being cleared in two criminal trials but found guilty in a third case. He was pardoned last year by ex-President Mikheil Saakashvili. Several trials relating to other charges against Bacho Akhalaia, who currently remains in pre-trial detention, are pending.

Akhalaia’s father, Member of Parliament Ronald Akhalaia, was charged by the Chief Prosecutor’s Office on two counts of abusing official power while serving as the Chief Prosecutor of the Samegrelo region in 2009.