Tbilisi, Georgia, Feb. 17
By Nana Kirtzkhalia - Trend:
Kutaisi City Court sentenced former Prime Minister Vano Merabishvili and former governor of the Kakheti region Zurab Chiaberashvili on Feb.17.
After episodes of illegal employment of the National Movement members and the forcible appropriation of a country house in Kvariati, Merabishvili and Chiaberashvili were accused of illegal use of public funds. About 180 witnesses were interrogated during the investigation and some 170 of them were presented by the prosecution.
The judge found the former prime minister guilty on all charges and sentenced him to five years' imprisonment. Merabishvili will not be able to hold a high public office for a year and a half after release.
Zurab Chiaberashvili was found guilty of one charge only, he must pay a fine in the amount of 50,000 lari.
Merabishvili didn't personally participate in the process. His lawyers said that they will appeal against the decision of the Kutaisi Court.
Translated by L.Z.
Edited by C.N.