Preliminary court hearing into the case against former defense and interior minister Bacho Akhalaia involving charges of alleged abuse of soldiers and illegal confinement will be held on January 30 instead of originally set December 25, Akhalaia’s lawyer said on Sunday.
Tbilisi City Court ordered pretrial detention for Akhalaia on November 9, setting preliminary court hearing’s date for December 25. According to the law preliminary hearing should be held no later than 60 days after detention of an accused, but prosecutors have the right to request the court to postpone preliminary hearing to give them more time to gather evidence.
Former chief of army staff Giorgi Kalandadze and former commander of 4th army brigade Zurab Shamatava have also been charged in this case of soldiers’ alleged abuse, but unlike Akhalaia, the two former army commanders were released on bail.
Bachuki Kurashvili, one of Akhalaia’s lawyers told Rustavi 2 TV on Sunday that the preliminary court hearing had also been rescheduled from January 4 to February 11 into another case against Akhalaia involving charges for alleged inhuman treatment of soldiers in February, 2010.