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Saakashvili’s prisoner writes a letter to Obama2011-04-06 16:47
Mikheil Saakashvili's "personal prisoner", as Tsotne Gamsakhurdia, a son of the first Georgian president, now serving a 14-year sentence, is referred to, wants to seek justice in the United States. He has submitted a letter to US president Barack Obama calling the situation in the country's penitentiary and electoral systems, judicial sphere as well as freedom of speech and observance of human rights simply pitiful. Will Washington listen to Tsotne?
Tsotne Gamsakhurdia's struggle against Georgian authorities has been underway for one year and a half already. He was detained by the police in October 2009 on an accusation of deliberate shooting at his neighbor. From the very beginning the son of Georgia's first president denied the charges: at the time of the inquest his neighbor stated Gamsakhurdia had not fired at him. However, despite the lack of evidence, the court prolonged the inquest several times with new accusations brought against Tsotne during the investigation: at first - a premeditated murder attempt, then espionage in favor of Russia and involvement in an anti-governmental conspiracy.
In February 2010 another accusation was added to the old ones - infliction of minor bodily harm. The prosecutor recollected the events of more than ten years ago when, as alleged, Gamsakhurdia hit a policeman on November 21, 1998. The prosecution easily ignored basic rules of legal proceedings: launching an over-mature criminal case without a claim of the aggrieved party. Notwithstanding efforts of the ad-hoc commission of lawyers, clergy and representatives of the government set to release Zviad Gamsakhurdia, he was sentenced to 9.5 years in prison.
Georgi Khaindrava, former minister for conflict settlement of Georgia, once said that Tsotne Gamsakhurdia is Mikheil Saakashvili's personal prisoner referring to the whole case as "plain fascism". "Accusations against him are absurd", - Khaindrava said. - However, there is little to be surprised at with the way judicial proceedings are organized: Georgian prosecutors rule out verdicts and give orders to local authorities".