PM Garibashvili on sentence of ex-Gov's official Akhalaia

PM Garibashvili stated no one could put pressure on the independent court, the Government or opposition parties., 23 Oct 2014 - 12:18, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgia’s Prime Minister believes the country's justice system was independent when it delivered an unbiased verdict in a high-profile murder case.

Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili expressed his satisfaction on yesterday's court decision in relation to the Navtlugi case – a high profile case involving the murder of three men in 2006 – at today’s cabinet meeting.

Yesterday, our court handed down a verdict in relation to the extremely grave Navtlugi cases, which resulted in the killing of three innocent young men. It was violence revealed by the former government. Our court has made an independent decision, Garibashvili said.

Garibashvili emphasized Georgia’s justice system was moving into a new phase of transparency and independence where the court was now able to make independent decisions free from political background or interference. 

He said the methods of the former government, which fought against its own people and destroyed the country, was now in the past.

Over the years this corrupt regime grappled with its own people and rooted chaos and stress in the public. They have not dropped this practice thus far, and they are still strongly determined to cover for murderers and felons. It’s their choice though. However we do also have the right to state that we do not want to deal with or have anything in common with such political opponents,” Garibashvili said.

Meanwhile after yesterday’s court verdict where Bachana (Bacho) Akhalaia was found guilty, his UNM colleague Akaki Minashvili, who is also a minority member of Parliament, sent Judge Besik Bugianishvili an insulting text message.

PM Garibashvili stated no one could put pressure on the independent court, the Government or opposition parties.

"This is categorically unacceptable. I urge everyone who deals with this issue to properly investigate the case,” Garibashvili said.

Meanwhile, Tbilisi City Court yesterday sentenced Akhalaia, Georgia’s former Interior Minister, to seven years and six months in prison. Akhalaia previously served as the country's Defence Minister and head of the Penitentiary Department of the Justice Ministry.

Akhalaia was found guilty of torturing prisoners in the 2006 Navtlugi Special Operation case. The ex-official was also found guilty of abusing authority when "he gave privileged prison conditions” to ex-officials arrested for the Girgvliani murder case. The Court delivered a verdict of not guilty for Akhalaia for his charge of exceeding official authority.

Akhalaia has been held in pre-trial detention since November 2012. Before receiving a guilty verdict yesterday, he was acquitted in several separate cases.