Former prime minister of Georgia Merabishvili sentenced to three years
TBILISI, October 20 (RAPSI) - The Tbilisi City Court has sentenced former Georgian prime minister and minister of the interior Vano Merabishvili to three years in prison for abuse of power in the murder case of United Georgian Bank employee Sandro Girgvliani, RIA Novosti reports on Monday.
Other defendants in the case were former Interior Ministry officials including, head of the First Directorate of the Constitutional Security Department Geronty Alaniya, head of the Fifth Directorate of the Constitutional Security Department Valerian Metreveli, former head of the Constitutional Security Department Data Akhalaya and his deputy Oleg Melnikov. Alaniya was excluded from the case due to ongoing extradition talks with Greece. Melnikov signed a plea bargain after he pled guilty.
Also on Monday, the court sentenced Alaniya, Metreveli and Melnikov to four years and six months in prison each.
Last February, the Tbilisi City Court found Merabishvili guilty of abuse of power and sentenced him to 4 years and 6 months in prison. Merabishvili is already serving a term by order of the Kutaisi City Court that sentenced him to five years in prison for embezzlement and spending of Interior Ministry funds, bribing voters and abuse of power. The Tbilisi court also recently received two more cases in which Merabishvili is charged with abuse of power.
United Georgian Bank employee Sandro Girgvliani was found dead on January 28, 2006, at a cemetery on the outskirts of Tbilisi after a fight at a Tbilisi bar with Akhalaya, Melnikov, Vasil Sanodze, the head of the Interior Ministry’s Public Relations Service Guram Donadze and Merabishvili’s wife, Tako Salakaya.