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Mukhrovani case. Wrongfully Accused?2009-09-14 17:11
The Mukhrovani mutiny case takes an unexpected turn. It became known that the majority of the participants of the mysterious rebellion had acknowledged their guilt. In the wake of the incident Georgia's president put all the blame for the events onto Russia. What does this "repentance of the suspects" mean? Does it mean opposition leaders will be the next to sit in the prisoners' box? And will Russia be thundered again? Gela Nikoleishivili, the suspects' defender and Georgy Melitauri, a Georgian military expert, answer GeorgiaTimes questions.
Another Mukhrovani mutiny hearing is scheduled for today. GeorgiaTimes correspondent got in touch with Gela Nikoleishvili - the lawyer of the suspects five minutes before the start of the proceedings. Nikoleishvili promised to provide details after the end of the hearing. Thirty-four people completely admitted their guilt. Two - only partially and five plead not guilty.
Does this mean the militaries were really planning a coup? The lawyer replies: "Most probably it's a behind-the-scene arrangement. Under current legislation a remedial agreement on cooperation with the inquest was made up". Nikoleishvili remarks here that very often it turns up that a person that has committed no crime pleads guilty. "Most likely it's a kind of agreement made during preliminary investigation. The suspects were promised either reduction of prison term or release from custody. Under the charges the suspects will be sentenced to 25-30 years' imprisonment", - our interlocutor remarked. According to him many suspects are incriminated in non disclosure of information on the mutiny, not participation in it.
Will the confession of the suspects be followed by a new attack against the opposition? There was an opinion that this entire Mukrovani story had been aimed at discrediting high army command of Shevarnadze's epoch publicly known as "The club of generals". Besides many club members are friends with ex chief of border police Badri Bitsadze, husband of Nino Burdzhanadze, a prominent oppositionist. "The Mukhrovani proceedings, - Gela Nikoleishvili goes on, - will have no effect on the opposition movement regardless of results. No one of the detainees mentioned the names of Georgian opposition leaders».
Will there be a new turn in confrontation with Russia since the president himself accused Russia of preparing for mutiny? "Four suspects have been interrogated so far, - our interviewee says. - Only one of them said that somebody among the initiators had allegedly assured him that in future the money would flow from Georgian businessman Alexander Ebralidze. The inquest has no facts confirming this information".
Nikoleishvili noted that in order to hear evidence and study the facts the continuation of the investigation is needed. Ebralidze himself was out of reach. It was impossible to get in touch with him. It is noteworthy Alexander Ebralidze is a mysterious figure. Lately his name has been a buzz word. Though earlier only few people knew of his existence in Georgia. He announced his presidential ambitions and promised to restore Georgia's territorial integrity. Georgian media nickname him "Alik-market" for his criminal past.