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Saakashvili wants Demetradze dead2011-09-05 21:07
Sakartvelo's authorities are pushing Georgi Demetradze, a well-known Georgian soccer player, to suicide. Sentenced to six years' imprisonment for illegal bookmaking at the time of the 2010 World Championship and associations with the world of thieves the striker is now in Rustavi penitentiary facility. As his lawyers claim, the incarceration conditions are inhuman. It is unknown how much more time the repressed athlete will stand.
Last summer Georgi Demetradze, a legendary striker that used to be a star in Alania (Vladikavkaz) team, came in sight of inadequate Georgian authorities. He was detained on suspicion of contacts with the criminal world and direct participation in collection of money for the so-called pooled cash fund. It was clear from the beginning that the regime's war against Demetradze would end in a victory of the authorities. The city court of Tbilisi refused to liberate the suspect on bail condemning him to two months' preliminary detention though the soccer player categorically denied his guilt.
Many other soccer stars of the country supported the striker of the national team including Kakha Kaladze, the captain (who is disliked by Saakashvili's inner circle). "If I knew that this man had done something wrong, I wouldn't have said a word. Law is equal for everyone. But when you know that the man is not guilty, it all looks absurd", - Kaladze explained.
The captain's protest caused a storm of resentment among the authorities. Kaladze was even detained before the match with Croatia's national team for his sympathy. He had to spend a few hours in the department of constitutional security at Georgia's ministry of interior where he was warned against pushing national team players to organize actions in support of Demetradze at the time of the match with Croats.
Shota Arveladze, one of the best strikers in Georgian soccer history, also sympathizes with Georgi. "To be familiar and to be involved are two different things. Everyone knows each other in Tbilisi. And everyone knows a man that grew up in this city and has been playing soccer here for thirty years", - he emphasized.
The court ignored public opinion sentencing Demetradze to six years' imprisonment. This is almost the longest term since article 223 of the Georgian Criminal Code he is incriminated with (membership in criminal community, mafia boss) provides for max 8 years of deprivation of liberty.