Court of Appeals Upholds Mukhrovani Verdict
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 22 Oct.'10 / 13:07

The Court of Appeals has largely upheld a verdict of lower court into the case known as Mukhrovani mutiny, which took place in a tank battalion outside Tbilisi on May 5, 2009.

On October 21 the three-judge panel upheld prison sentence for all 17 defendants, some of them former military commanders convicted to a lengthy jail terms, who have appealed the January 11 verdict of the Tbilisi City Court.

The Court of Appeals has also refused to accept prosecution’s appeal requesting to re-qualify charges of seven civilian defendants into mutiny to overthrow the government; this was the charge for which they were brought before the lower court by the prosecution, but the Tbilisi City Court ruled that the crime committed by these seven civilians’ should instead be qualified as providing assistance to disobedience and not as a mutiny to overthrow the government.

The three-judge panel, chaired by Tamar Alania, announced the verdict just 50 minutes after hearing final arguments of most of the defense lawyers and closing statements by the defendants themselves at a hearing on October 21.

In their closing statements two former military commanders, convicted for mutiny to overthrow the government,  Shota Gorgiashvili and Levan Amiridze, reiterated their position that developments in Mukhrovani military unit on May 5, 2009 was an expression of their protest against the military command and a military parade, which was planned at the time, and that they had never intended to stage a coup. The verdict can be appealed to Supreme Court within a month.

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