Tbilisi, September 18, Interfax - Three citizens of Turkey wanted by Interpol on terrorism charges lived in the house of Patriarch Ilia II of Georgia for several months in 2016, the television company Rustavi 2 reported, citing a testimony given by Soso Okhanashvili, former head of the patriarch's personal security service, in court.
The testimony was made at a hearing held in the Tbilisi City Court in July 2017 in the case involving Archpriest Georgy Mamaladze, who was sentenced to nine years in prison on the charges of preparing the assassination of the patriarch's secretary Shorena Tetruashvili in September, which was held behind closed doors.
According to an audio recording of the questioning of Okhanashvili, he found three citizens of Turkey in the house in Tbilisi given to the patriarch by Georgian oligarch Vano Chkhartishvili, who lived in the UK, in which the patriarch had never lived.
Okhanashvili said he had found that the men, who were wanted by Interpol, had been housed in the patriarch's house on the orders of the patriarch's secretary Shorena Tetruashvili.
The former head of the patriarch's security service told the court he had immediately conducted the Georgian law enforcement agencies in regard of the wanted men he had found, but no reaction followed and the terrorism suspects left Georgia several days later.