Court Finds Ex-Chief Prosecutor Adeishvili Guilty over Iberia TV Case

On March 5 the Tbilisi City Court has found Georgia’s former Chief Prosecutor Zurab Adeishvili (20042008), a highly influential figure in former President Saakashvili’s inner circle, guilty over the case of closing down Iberia TV and seizing its broadcasting license, and sentenced him to two years in prison in absentia. 

Under the Law on Amnesty, however, Adeishvili’s sentence was reduced by one fourth, reducing his prison term to one year and six months; Adeishvili will also be deprived of the right to hold public office for a term of two years and three months.

Another convict into the same case, Adeishvili’s former deputy, Giorgi Latsabidze will have to pay a fine at GEL 40,000. Like Adeishvili, Latsabidze will be deprived of the right to hold public office for a term of two years and three months.

Zurab Adeishvili left Georgia a day after the October 2012 parliamentary elections, that resulted the nation’s first peaceful transfer of power through elections since regaining independence in 1991. Adeishvili presently lives in Hungary, where he has been granted asylum.

The Georgian Prosecutor’s Office put Adeishvili, who faces multiple criminal charges, on wanted list in 2013 but still fails to achieve his extradition.

The Prosecutor’s Office reported on March 5 that in 2004, then newly elected government members, including Chief Prosecutor Zurab Adeishvili decided to seize the broadcasting license of Iberia TV, owned by the Omega Group, a business conglomerate, in order “to exert government control over the television.” According to the Prosecutor’s Office, a criminal plan was masterminded and implemented by Chief Prosecutor Zurab Adeishvili and his deputy, Giorgi Latsabidze.

This post is also available in: ქართული (Georgian) Русский (Russian)