Tbilisi City Court found guilty a man allegedly linked to the car explosion on October 4 targeting MP Givi Targamadze, one of the leaders of the United National Movement (UNM), just days before Georgia’s parliamentary elections.
On February 9, the Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia released a statement saying that Boris Chagunava, who was arrested soon after the accident, was found guilty on charges of illegal possession of firearms and explosives.
According to the Prosecutor’s Office, Boris Chagunava pled guilty and admitted that Darcho Khechuashvili, Chagunava’s brother-in-law, who was charged in absentia with attempted murder, stored firearms, ammunition, explosive substances and equipment in his apartment.
Tbilisi City Court sentenced Chagunava to four years in prison, but changed it to six years’ conditional sentence.
The Prosecutor’s Office said that it “does not agree” with a non-custodial punishment and will challenge the ruling in the Court of Appeals.
MP Giorgi Kandelaki of the Movement for Liberty – European Georgia, the party Targamadze belongs to now, said at a special press briefing on February 14 that the release of Boris Chagunava is “shocking” and that “it raises questions about the motives of the Prosecutor’s Office and the Government in general.”
“The Prosecutor’s Office finalized the case hastily; Chagunava was given a conditional sentence and released from jail, [despite the fact that] … he kept a great amount of explosives in his garage, including trinitrotoluene and hexogen, the particles of which were found in Targamadze’s car,” Kandelaki stated.
Giorgi Kandelaki added that even though Targamadze “expressed doubts concerning the involvement” of some senior officials in the State Security Service, “these persons have not been interrogated,” which, in the words of Kandelaki “adds to the doubts.”
He also added that the case “had not been transferred to court,” despite “the pledges of the Prosecutor’s Office that the court proceedings on Darcho Khechuashvili would begin in the first half of January.”