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Former Georgian Control Chamber chief says he was tortured in jail

September 29, 2012, 16:45 UTC+3
Between 2000 and 2003, under Eduard Shevardnadze's rule, Molashvili was chairman of the Control Chamber
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Photo EPA/ITAR-TASS

Photo EPA/ITAR-TASS

TBILISI, September 29 (Itar-Tass) —— Former chairman of the Georgian Control Chamber Sulkhan Molashvili said he was tortured with an electric shocker and burning cigarettes when he was held in a Tbilisi prison during the period from 2004 to 2008. Molashvili, who resides in France, said this on Georgian television on Saturday.

Some high-ranking officials visited him in the Tbilisi prison and demanded to renounce the Control Chamber's conclusions on the violations committed by Mikheil Saakashvili when he was justice minister in 2000-2001 and Tbilisi city government chairman in 2002-2003. Molashvili refused to obey the demand. After that, pressure was put on him in the prison, and he was subject to tortures, including with an electric shocker and burning cigarettes, he said.

In October 2004, during her visit to Tbilisi, PACE Monitoring Committee head Josette Durrieu said that there was information that physical pressure was used against Molashvili when he was held in custody. Durrieu told reporters about her meeting with Molashvili in the prison. He was in a bad, even heavy, physical state. The Georgian prosecutor-general was asked questions in this connection. The monitoring committee was concerned over the case. There were signs on the prisoner's body that he was hurt. The prosecutor was asked at what stage was the investigation into the reports about tortures of Molashvili, Durrieu said. The Georgian Prosecutor-General’s Office said that the investigation was underway into the causes of the “physical pressure signs” on Molashvili's body.

Between 2000 and 2003, under Eduard Shevardnadze's rule, Molashvili was chairman of the Control Chamber. In April 2004, he was arrested for "forcing state organizations to transfer up to 30 percent of funds from their accounts to the Control Chamber".

Molashvili described the accusations as absurd and stated it was a political reprisal of Saakashvili's regime against him.

In September 2005, the Tbilisi city court sentenced him to nine years' imprisonment. Many Georgian and European politicians and public activists demanded to reconsider the case of Molashvili and release him. On January 6, 2008, acting Georgian president Nino Burdzhanadze signed a decree pardoning Molashvili. He was released, and some months later he left Georgia.

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