According to Beka Basilaia, this is confirmed by the reports and interview protocols in the materials of Elguja Tsomaia’s case. According to these documents, the investigation was launched on October 1 and was launched not on charges of illegal border crossing, smuggling of migrants or crime, but on charges of illegal purchase, storage and carrying of firearms.
Elguja Tsomaia, arrested on charges of covering up a serious crime, has an investigation record card dated October 1, in which Ekaterine Mtivlishvili, an investigator of the Second Division of the Tbilisi Police Investigation Main Division, is charged with aggravated criminal charges. But also the fact of unlawful purchase-storage-carrying of firearms.
According to the case materials, Elguja Tsomaia was informed about the fact of illegal purchase, storage and carrying of firearms by Giorgi Bukhrashvili, the head of the detective department of the Tbilisi Police Department, by the detective Mikheil Giorgberidze. He writes in the report:
“I would like to inform you that according to the operative information at my disposal, Elguja Tsomaia, born in 1958, living at N3 Ertso Street in Tbilisi, must have been in the area near Guramishvili # 160 in his car … According to the mentioned information, Elguja Tsomaia personally Firearms and ammunition purchased illegally must also be stored in the said vehicle and apartment. According to the same information, Elguja Tsomaia, who illegally purchased firearms and ammunition, may also keep it in his house in the village of Dzegvi, Mtskheta district. I will inform you about the above, please provide your further instructions. “
Beka Basilaia, a lawyer for Mikheil Saakashvili and Elguja Tsomaia, says the documents in the case file disprove Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili’s statement that law enforcement agencies had prior information about Mikheil Saakashvili’s departure from Georgia, “starting in Ukraine.
“Until October 1, they did not have any information about Elguja Tsomaia and Mikheil Saakashvili. The investigation began at around 3pm as the author of the report was questioned around 4 p.m. According to the case file, the law enforcers were going to search two houses belonging to Elguja Tsomaia, one to an apartment on Ertso Street in Tbilisi and the other to a house in the village of Dzegvi in Mtskheta district. These documents show that according to the data of October 1, the Georgian authorities did not even know whether Mikheil Saakashvili was with Elguja Tsomaia and if so, in which house he was hiding. Therefore, Gharibashvili’s statement that everything was controlled is a bluff. “
On October 1, the third president of Georgia wrote on Facebook that he was in Georgia and soon posted videos to prove it.
On October 1, in the first half of the day, both the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the authorities insisted that Mikheil Saakashvili did not cross the Georgian border and did not leave the territory of Ukraine.
It became known at the special briefing of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in the evening that Mikheil Saakashvili was arrested in Tbilisi.
Elguja Tsomaia was detained by law enforcers on October 1. He was stopped at a gas station in Tbilisi on charges of illegal purchase and storage of weapons, searched, after which he was moved to his apartment for a search, where the third president of Georgia, Mikheil Saakashvili, was fleeing.
According to Elguja Tsomaia’s lawyer, his client says that on September 30, at night, Mikheil Saakashvili was brought home by a man who was wearing a turban and glasses. According to Beka Basilaia, according to the case materials, the identity of the person who brought Mikheil Saakashvili to Elguja Tsomaia has not been established.
The investigation of Elguja Tsomaia is charged with the crime envisaged by the second part of Article 375 of the Criminal Code (unconditional reparation of a serious crime), which envisages imprisonment for 1 to 4 years.
Elguja Tsomaia is not the only person arrested after Mikheil Saakashvili arrived in Georgia on charges of covering up a crime. On the morning of October 3, Tsomaia’s close family members, father and son, Zurab and Shalva Tsotsoria were arrested. According to the investigation, on September 29, 2021, after Mikheil Saakashvili crossed the border illegally, “the accused provided his transportation by car and took him to his destination – in one of the villages of Samegrelo.”
Mikheil Saakashvili has been convicted of beating Valeri Gelashvili and Sandro Girgvliani in a three-instance court and has been sentenced to 6 years in prison. The decisions made by the court in these cases are final and cannot be appealed.
As for the cases in which Mikheil Saakashvili is accused, according to the prosecutor’s office, these are the facts of the raid on Imedi TV, the November 7 raid and the misappropriation of the Patarkatsishvili family’s property, as well as embezzlement of more than GEL 8 million for his personal purposes. These cases are being considered in the Tbilisi City Court.