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Georgia's former president, interior minister face new criminal charges

November 10, 2014, 17:47 UTC+3 TBILISI
Former president Mikheil Saakashvili and former Interior Minister Vano Merabishvili are accused of beating lawmaker Valery Gelashvili in July 2005
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Former Georgia's President Mikheil Saakashvili

Former Georgia's President Mikheil Saakashvili

© ITAR-TASS/Maria Frolova

TBILISI, November 10. /TASS/. Georgian prosecutor’s office on Monday brought new charges against former President Mikheil Saakashvili and former Interior Minister Vano Merabishvili in the criminal case over beating of lawmaker Valery Gelashvili in July 2005, the republican main prosecutor’s office said.

“The guilt is aggravated by new facts found in the investigation,” the main prosecutor’s office said. Saakashvili and Merabishvili were earlier accused of “abuse of powers with the use of violence.” Now accusations became harsher “up to deliberate causing of heavy bodily wounds.”

Georgian prosecutor’s office ruled to bring charges against Saakashvili and Merabishvili in the Gelashvili battery case on August 5, 2014. The prosecutor’s office said that republican law enforcement agencies began probing the attack on Gelashvili in 2005, but no steps were taken to solve the crime back then. In October 2013, the main prosecutor’s office resumed investigation of the criminal case over assault on Gelashvili.

Saakashvili was president of Georgia from January 2004 to November 17, 2013. In mid-November 2013, several days before the expiration of his presidential term, he left Georgia and has lived mainly in the United States since.

Former Interior Minister Vano Merabishvili, who held this post from December 2004 to July 2012, was arrested in Tbilisi in July last year on accusations of abuse of power and several other offences and is still kept in custody.

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