Two, Detained for Pressuring District Election Head, Released on Bail

The Tbilisi City Court ruled on December 10 to release on bail two persons, Akaki Khuskivadze and Akaki Kobaladze, who were detained in November on suspicion of bribing, threatening, and coercing the Isani District Election Commission Head Tedore Gobejishvili. Gobejishvili has later died, and the media and political speculation that the pressure has precipitated his death has folded into a terse post-election debate.

Both Khuskivadze and Kobaladze were regarded as “political prisoners” by the Georgian opposition, and their release, implying the closure of the criminal cases due to the lack of evidentiary bases, was among the opposition’s revised demands handed to the ruling party on December 4 during the post-election mediation.

The decision to replace the pre-trial detention with GEL 10,000 (USD 3,040) bail for each of the suspects came a day before the first session of the 10th convocation Parliament.

The suspects were arrested after Gobejishvili’s body was found in his house, days after the October 31 parliamentary elections. According to the prosecution, on a day before the sudden death, the two, acting in the name of the United National Movement (UNM) party, attempted to bribe Gobejishvili, 43,  into publicly announcing his resignation over vote fraud, threatening him with “imprisonment and physical abuse of his family members.”

One of the suspects was additionally charged with illegal carrying of firearms.

The pretrial session is scheduled for December 30.

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