Georgia, Tbilisi, August 1 / Trend, N. Kirtzkhalia /
Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili has received the former Chief of the Joint Staff of the Georgian Armed Forces, General Giorgi Kalandadze who was acquitted on Thursday by the Tbilisi City Court. He congratulated him on his acquittal, adding that he never doubted his innocence.
"We need such generals. It is inadmissible when they are sent to prison, as it hinders the development of our army," the president said.
He expressed hope that Kalandadze will not harbour resentment and return to the army to continue serving the country.
"Two days ago, I pardoned the governor of Samegrelo Tengiz Gunava, because I believe that patriots like you, him and other unjustly arrested people should serve the country," Saakashvili said.
Kalandadze thanked the President and expressed his willingness to return to the army.
On Thursday, the Tbilisi City Court released all the accused, who along with the ex-Minister of Defence of Georgia Bacho Akhalaia were held on charges of inhumane treatment and false imprisonment.
Ex-chief of the Joint Staff of the Georgian Armed Forces Giorgi Kalandadze, commander of the Fourth Brigade Zurab Shamatava, Sergeant Alexander Gordadze as well as Merab Kikabidze Manuchar Daraselia, George Kintsurashvili and former head of the Department of Corrections Gaga Mkurnalidze were released on Saturday.
The charges related to an episode in October 2011, when, according to the investigation, Bacho Akhalaia, as Minister of Defence, abused physically and verbally six soldiers and hit one of them with a knife handle in his head in the presence of George Kalandadze and Zurab Shamatava. After that the servicemen were transferred to the base in Vaziani, where the fourth brigade of the Georgian Defense Ministry was based, and were subjected to verbal and physical abuse on a practice ground.