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Former Head of Georgia's Jails Sentenced For Prison Deaths

© RIA Novosti . Alexander Imedashvili / Go to the photo bankBacho Akhalaia (archive)
Bacho Akhalaia (archive) - Sputnik International
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A Georgian court sentenced a former defense minister to three years and nine months in jail Monday, the day after a presidential election in the former Soviet state.

TBILISI, October 28 (RIA Novosti) – A court in the former Soviet republic of Georgia sentenced a former head of penitentiary service to almost four years in jail Monday for his role in the violent suppression of a jail riot in 2006.
Bacho Akhalaia, who was running Georgia’s prisons during a 2006 riot in which seven inmates were killed, was found guilty of using excessive measures while putting down the unrest.
Local media cited his lawyer as saying they would appeal the 45-month jail sentence.
Akhalaia served as defense minister and interior minister under outgoing President Mikhail Saakashvili, who is to leave office in the coming weeks in the wake of elections held Sunday.
Akhalaia left Georgia in 2012 ahead of the country’s parliamentary elections, when Saakashvili’s party was defeated by the Georgian Dream coalition led by billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili, who is currently serving as prime minister.
Akhalaia was arrested after returning to the capital, Tbilisi, later that year and accused of multiple crimes connected to his work in government.
He is due to face two more trials, including one on murder charges.
Saakashvili’s allies have accused Ivanishvili’s government of pursuing politically motivated prosecutions against members of the previous administration.

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