Court Finds UNM-era Chief Prosecutor Guilty of 2007 Assault on Opposition Leader

The Tbilisi City Court found Georgia’s former Chief Prosecutor Zurab Adeishvili (2004–2008), a highly influential figure in ex-President Mikheil Saakashvili’s inner circle, guilty of unlawful confinement and abuse of power over the case of assaulting and kidnapping Koba Davitashvili, late opposition politician and former lawmaker.

The Court decision, unveiled on January 20, sentenced Adeishvili to six years in prison in absentia. 

The Prosecutor’s Office, which brought charges against Adeishvili, argued that in early November 2007, when large-scale anti-government rallies were underway on Rustaveli Avenue in Tbilisi, the Chief Prosecutor Adeishvili ordered to prevent the opposition from agitating in the capital’s largest bazaars.

According to the POG, on November 7, 2007, police officers detained Davitashvili, then leader of the opposition People’s Party, as he was buying equipment for the protest rally at Tbilisi’s Eliava bazaar. Davitashvili was severely beaten by police truncheons and then taken to the military hospital in Gori, where he was beaten again, sustaining severe injuries to his head.

“Koba Davitashvili sustained severe injuries as a result of the violent acts committed against him during an unlawful confinement,” the Prosecutor’s Office said.

In 2010, Davitashvili lodged a complaint to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) against the Georgian Government over the case of assault.

In early December 2020, Davitashvili died at the age of 49, following a long illness. He linked aggravation of his health condition to the 2007 incident.

Zurab Adeishvili left Georgia a day after the October 2012 parliamentary elections, when the Georgian voters put an end to the 9-year-long UNM rule. The ex-chief Prosecutor now lives in Hungary, where he has been granted asylum.

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

The court has found Adeishvili guilty in several cases, where he was tried in absentia, including the case of illegally closing down Iberia TV and the case related to harassing Cartu Bank, associated with Bidzina Ivanishvili.

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