"We won the trial of the century." New twist in Georgia's 'Cyanide Case'
Cyanide case won in Strasbourg
The lawyer of arrested deacon Giorgi Mamaladze, accused of attempting to poison the Patriarch of Georgia’s assistant secretary, says that the trial of the century has been won in a Strasbourg court, the so-called “cyanide case”.
The incident is one of the most mysterious and scandalous in Georgia’s recent history. The main defendant in the case, deacon Giorgi Mamaladze, was sentenced in 2017 to nine years for the attempted murder of Shorena Tetruashvili, secretary of the head of the Georgian Orthodox Church and one of the most influential and disliked figures in the Patriarchate.
Mamaladze was arrested on February 10, 2017 at Tbilisi airport. In his belongings the police found sodium cyanide.
The charge was based on Mamaladze having visited the patriarch in Germany, among whose entourage was Shorena Tetruashvili.
Initially, it was stated that Mamaladze wanted to poison a “high-ranking clergyman”, which was an unambiguous allusion to the attempt on the patriarch’s life. This was later changed, and the priest was accused of attempting to kill the assistant secretary.
The deacon maintains his innocence. The deacon’s family claims that he is the victim of hidden intrigues in the patriarchy. Lawyers and representatives of public organizations have many questions for the prosecution.
What did the court in Strasbourg decide?
- Georgian media outlets: intelligence services spy on church leaders and even nuns
- Anti-vaxxing, homophobia, pro-Russian sentiments – is the church an obstacle on Georgia’s pro-Western course?
“The court made its decision a few moments ago, ruling that Mamaladze’s rights to a fair trial had been violated,” lawyer David Jandieri wrote on Facebook.
“As a lawyer, I spent four very difficult years working alone on this most difficult case. I did not have such significant professional success in the Strasbourg court after winning the Girgvliani case,” the lawyer says.
The Girgvliani case: 2006. Several officers of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia were accused of murdering bank employee Sandro Girgvliani. But human rights groups named high-ranking officials of the ministry as complicit, which, however, has not been proven.
The Strasbourg court ruled that paragraph 1, Article 6 of the Convention on Human Rights had been violated, in this case the right to a fair trial. The presumption of innocence had also been violated. The court ordered the Georgian government to pay deacon Giorgi Mamaladze 9,418 lari [about $3,400] within three months.
Mamaladze’s demands for material damages in the amount of 376,405 lari [about $137,000] and moral damages in the amount of 150,000 euros were not granted.
The deacon’s brother, Tornike Mamaladze, posted on Facebook that the state has an obligation to release the priest.
“My brother’s health has deteriorated. If he remains in custody, it can lead to the most terrible, even fatal consequences. Neither the state nor society should allow this,” Tornike Mamaladze wrote.