2017-02-22 16:52:00

Rights of deacon Mamaladze accused of murder breached - Georgian president

Tbilisi, February 22, Interfax - Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili thinks that the rights of Deacon Giorgi Mamaladze, who is being held in custody on the counts of attempted murder, have been transgressed.

"This case, which is dubbed the 'cyanide case', has only two parties - the prosecution and the defense. Only these parties can speak in a truly qualified manner in this case, but the defense is not given the floor. We saw that a man, a Georgian citizen, whose innocence or guilt I do not want to speak about, was not given an opportunity to defend himself. Everybody, namely politicians, experts, prosecutors accuse him, but this is a violation of the presumption of innocence," President Margvelashvili said on air of Rustavi-2 television.

The prosecution service is empowered to announce one case or another classified, but then everybody should keep silence, he said.

"The state may restrict the dissemination of some information, but each day I should not hear as part of the 'cyanide case' on all news channels different positions of people, who enjoy no competence, and if they have such, this is a breach. I think that accused Deacon Mamaladze should be given an opportunity to inform us about the matter, voice his position," Margvelashvili said.

He said he had met twice with Patriarch Ilia II in connection with the Mamaladze case in the past 24 hours. "I will not speak about the content of our conversation, I will only say that the patriarch demonstrates great wisdom, wishing to thoroughly study this case," the president said.

Deacon Mamaladze was apprehended at Tbilisi International Airport on February 10. He planned to fly to Berlin, where Georgian Patriarch was undergoing a course of treatment. During a search of the deacon's baggage, cyanide was discovered. He is being accused of attempted murder.