A Tbilisi court yesterday sentenced former defense minister Tengiz Kitovani to 8 years in prison, former deputy prime minister Irakly Surguladze to 21 months incarceration (already served in pretrial detention), and a Russian citizen, Valery Fisun, to 6 years imprisonment, on charges of organizing an unlawful military detachment. The defendants refused to attend the proceedings. The charges stem from Kitovani’s and his codefendants’ leadership of an abortive military expedition against Abkhazia in 1995. Their convoy was stopped by Georgian regular forces.
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