Key Figures into Mukhrovani Trial Face Lengthy Prison Terms
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 23 Dec.'09 / 16:48

After reading out his lengthy closing arguments on December 23, a prosecutor asked a judge to sentence key figures in ongoing trial into Mukhrovani mutiny to a lengthy prison terms.

The prosecutor said he wanted a retired army colonel Koba Otanadze, who is claimed to be one of the key organizers of the alleged mutiny and an attempted coup, to be sentenced to 30 years in prison; Levan Amiridze, a former commander of the Tbilisi-based rangers' battalion to 29 years; Shota (Mamuka) Gorgiashvili, a former commander of the Mukhrovani-based tank battalion to 19 years.

The prosecutor demanded 13 years and six months for Koba Kobaladze, who served as the commander of the National Guard before quitting the army in 2004.

All four defendants are charged with staging mutiny with a goal to overthrow the government, which all of them have denied.

Amiridze and Gorgiashvili also face charges related with disobedience in which the both of them pleaded guilty.

Kobaladze is also charged with illegal possession of firearm and hand-grenades and Otanadze also faces charges related with illegal possession of firearms and explosive devices.

The prosecutor requested 4-year prison term and GEL 10,000 fine for a former commander of the Kutaisi-based 3rd brigade Kakha Kobaidze and 4-year prison term and GEL 20,000 fine for former commander of the Gori-based 1st brigade Davit Sulkhanishvili.

The both former high-ranking military officials are charged with not reporting the crime. Sulkhanishvili pleaded guilty, while Kobaidze denied the charges.

The prosecutor asked the judge 4-year prison term for a former pilot of MI-8 helicopter, Zurab Chalatashvili, who served in the Alekseevka air base, for not reporting the crime.

A prison term requested by the prosecutor for seven defendants, who are civilians and who are charged with the mutiny to overthrow the government, as well as with illegal possession of firearms, varies from 14 to 17 years. Two of them – Besik Potskhverashvili and Beka Grigalashvili – if convicted will also serve additional 5 and 4 years, respectively, as the both men have already been convicted for crimes in the past unrelated to this case and the both men were given to a conditional sentence.

A prison term requested for other five civilians, who face charges related to disobedience and illegal possession of firearm, varies from 9 to 11 years.

One more civilian into the case, Zaza Sandodze, a relative of Koba Otanadze, has reached a plea bargaining with the prosecution earlier and is most likely to be sentenced to two years in prison; his charges are related with arms, not reporting the crime and resisting the police orders. His case, however, will not be discussed separately and will remain into the ongoing trial until its end.

The court will start listening to the defense lawyers’ closing arguments from December 25.

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