The trial of a former member of Saakashvili’s bodyguard and Ukrainian sailors


According to the investigation, Georgian citizen Yuri Baturin, Ukrainian citizens Yuri Khomich and Vladimir Dyachenko entered the territorial waters of Georgia on November 28, 2020 by ship from the Republic of Turkey. They stopped in the sight of Batumi, when the Coast Guard police noticed and verified their identities. The ship’s crew did not leave the connection and headed back to Turkish territorial waters, at which time they were arrested. Prosecutor Vladimer Turmanidze said today that the detainees were trying to escape from the scene and resisted the Georgian Coast Guard:

“When the Coast Guard arrived, they untied the rope and the rope, they did not come out of the connection. “They did not follow the rules that required them to use navigation systems, establish radio communications, send messages and obtain permits.” Said the prosecutor.

The prosecution presented to the court today as evidence the testimonies of the police and the Coast Guard officers and their southern camera recordings, as well as the personal belongings seized during the search of the detainees. As the prosecutor stated at the trial, among them are the records of the captain, where the city of Batumi is defined as the destination of the ship.

Detainees exercise their right to remain silent and plead not guilty. According to the defense, all three defendants are illegal prisoners, as the sailors were in a peaceful passage in a non-military vessel in the territorial waters of Georgia. The lawyer filed a second motion today and demanded the termination of the criminal prosecution for all three defendants, which was not granted by Judge Violeta Porchkhidze.

In response, the defendant’s lawyer, Beka Basilaia, accused the judge of performing his duties instead of the Justice Service:

“You know this very well, the prosecutors and the people who give you instructions know that. They were looking for Mikheil Saakashvili on this yacht “, – said the lawyer. According to him, the Georgian government had suspicions and fears from the very beginning that another person was on the yacht, which is highly unfavorable for the current government. The lawyer considers that the accusation is completely unfounded and there is no evidence:

“The movement of a non-military ship is allowed under Georgian law as well as international conventions. My clients were enjoying the right of peaceful passage in the territorial waters of Georgia when they were arrested. If you read the material of the accusation, you will not find a single point, what rule was violated. Then an absurd explanation is written that they entered Georgia bypassing the border checkpoint and to enter Georgia from the territorial water, you have to go through the inland water and find yourself on the shore. The border checkpoint is a port and how can a ship in territorial water bypass the border checkpoint and be on the land territory of Georgia, cross the state border? This is absurd, these people are captives. “, – said the lawyer.

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Whether the Border Police were looking for the former President of Georgia, Mikheil Saakashvili, on the detained naval vessel, and whether the investigation had this suspicion in advance, in response to these questions, the prosecutor assured journalists today that he heard Mikheil Saakashvili’s name in the case for the first time. Features:

“We had no doubt about him”, – said the prosecutor Vladimer Turmanidze, but he also said that the investigation is ongoing and is working to verify all existing versions. – “Among them, an investigation is underway into the possible transfer of migrants, as the situation encountered by the border police there was as follows: hydrocycle, hydro costume, swimming, wet and so on, doubting whether there was any illegal entry and removal of migrants in Georgia, which continues. Investigation and hope that evidence will be gathered “, – said the prosecutor.

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Today, the Batumi City Court recognized the admissibility of the evidence presented by both the prosecution and the defense, and scheduled the next trial for February 24.

On February 10, a four-hour trial of a former Saakashvili bodyguard and Ukrainian sailors took place amid protests by members of the United National Movement and their supporters holding placards in front of a courthouse.