Jailed son of ex-Georgian president to admit guilt on Georgian TV
The son of Georgia's first post-Soviet president, Zviad Gamsakhurdia, who is serving a nine-year sentence for assault, is to admit his guilt on Georgian television, his lawyer said on Monday, RIA Novosti reported.
Tsotne Gamsakhurdia was sentenced to nine years and six months in jail in early April for assaulting his neighbor, David Badzhelidze, who was hospitalized with a gunshot wound to the stomach.
"He is asking for 15 minutes on air and says he is ready to admit all the charges against him," the lawyer said, adding that Gamsakhurdia had not explained his decision.
The lawyer said Gamsakhurdia had behaved "strangely and aggressively, suggesting that drugs or stimulants may have been put in his food."
She also said Gamsakhurdia has been on systematic hunger strikes since his arrest in October 2009 in protest to his imprisonment. She said he still maintains that he is innocent.
Last week, new charges of bribery were made against Gamsakhurdia. He is accused of offering a 500 Lari bribe ($274) to a jail employee in exchange for information and for his correspondence to be taken outside the prison. Gamsakhurdia says the employee asked him for money for his sick child.
The lawyer said that despite the fact that the European Court of Human Rights ordered the Georgian Government of to put Gamsakhurdia in the city hospital for adequate rehabilitation, he is still in the prison hospital. According to her, the court has appealed to the Georgian Ministry of Justice three times, but nothing has been done.
Tsotne Gamsakhurdia was also arrested by Georgian authorities in September of 2008 and charged with spying for Russia, an attempted coup, and grievous bodily harm, but was released on bail later in the year.
Georgia's former president Zviad Gamsakhurdia, a persecuted human rights advocate in Soviet times, died in mysterious circumstances in 1993, aged 54, two years after being ousted and replaced by Eduard Shevardnadze and shortly after the civil war.