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Georgian Ex-Minister Charged in Absentia

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Former Georgian Justice Minister Zurab Adeishvili was charged in absentia with abuse of power, the Georgian chief prosecutor’s office said on Saturday.

TBILISI, December 29 (RIA Novosti) - Former Georgian Justice Minister Zurab Adeishvili was charged in absentia with abuse of power, the Georgian chief prosecutor’s office said on Saturday.

Adeishvili, one of President Mikheil Saakashvili’s closest allies, fled Georgia shortly after the Georgian Dream opposition coalition won the October 1 parliamentary elections.

The ex-minister was named as a suspect after he failed to turn up at the prosecutor’s office to be interviewed as a witness.

“Adeishvili is accused of abusing his authority to gain profit, of organizing inhumane and degrading treatment of inmates. He is also accused of… falsifying criminal evidence and provoking others to commit crime,” the chief prosecutor’s office said in a statement.

All charges were lad in connection with the prison abuse scandal. The scandal broke out in Georgia in early September when footage of prisoners being tortured and abused in Tbilisi’s Gldani No. 8 prison was shown on TV.

According to the chief prosecutor’s office, the former justice minister is suspected of giving instructions to the first deputy chief prosecutor and other officials to persuade the public that the video was made on the order of the Georgian Dream coalition in order to tarnish the image of its political opponents before the elections.

Investigators now think that the footage could be made on Adeishvili’s order.

The prison scandal is seen as one of the main reasons behind Georgian Dream’s election victory.

 

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