Ex-Defense Minister of Georgia released after serving 9 years in prison
Former Georgian Defense Minister Akhalaya released from prison
Bacho Akhalaya, who served as Georgia‘s Defense Minister during the rule of now imprisoned ex-President Mikheil Saakashvili, has been released from prison. He was found guilty on multiple counts, including the use of torture, and sentenced to nine years in prison.
After his release from prison, Bacho Akhalaya told reporters that he was not going to return to politics:
“I’m not going into politics, it’s none of my business. Next to me is my goal [wife] and my children. I want to get back on my feet a little, I’m very exhausted, I’m tired”, Bacho Akhalaya said.
Former Minister of Defense also commented on the war in Ukraine. According to him, he admires the Ukrainian people and expresses his support to them.
When asked by journalists what he thinks about the charges brought against him, Akhalaya replied:
“I served this country conscientiously and honestly. I did nothing else, I am 41 years old and I have not yet given anything to Anya (wife) or children, except for serving the country”.
Bacho Akhalaya also commented on the case of ex-president Mikheil Saakashvili, who has been imprisoned since his return to Georgia on October 1, 2021.
“I have a sense of shame, I am a citizen of a country where such a person [Mikhail Saakashvili] is in prison, I am ashamed”, Akhalaya said.
Former Minister of Defense of Georgia Bacho Akhalaya was arrested in November 2012 after the change of power in Georgia and the coming to power of the Georgian Dream party. Several criminal cases were initiated against him. The former defense minister was accused of torturing prisoners, as well as creating preferential conditions for those convicted of the sensational murder of Sandro Girgvliani in 2006. Bacho Akhalaya was released from prison after serving a sentence of nine years.
Bacho Akhalaya was a member of the United National Movement party and held leadership positions under President Mikheil Saakashvili.
From 2005 to 2008, Bacho Akhalaya was the head of the Department for the Execution of Punishments of the Ministry of Justice, from 2008 – 2009 – Deputy Minister of Defense of Georgia. From August 2009 to 2012 he served as the Minister of Defense of Georgia and from July to September 2012 he was Minister of the Interior.