Head of Georgian church targeted for assassination 


by Megi Kikaleishvili

RIA Novosti, 21 February 2017


The situation of the priest Georgy Mamaladze, who is accused of planning a murder, was discussed for several hours in the patriarchate of Georgia, with the participation of Patriarch Ilia II, the Georgian First Channel reports.


On 13 February, the patriarch of Georgia underwent an operation in Berlin because of the inflammation of his gall bladder. On the same day, the head of the Georgian prosecutor's office reported that on 10 February the director of the Service for Administering Property of the Patriarchate and the director of the Saints Joachim and Anne, Mamaladze, was arrested in the Tbilisi airport on a charge of planning a murder. Initially the chief prosecutor of Georgia, Irakli Shotadze, stated that the issue was an attempted murder of a priest of the upper hierarchy and later the prosecutor's office rejected the report about an attack on the Georgian patriarch, noting that in the interests of the investigation he could not specify whose murder Mamaladze was planning. Yesterday one of the lawyers of the detainee reported that Mamaladze actually was accused of planning the murder of Shorena Tetruashvili, the administrative assistant of the catholicos-patriarch.


On Monday, the patriarch of Georgia returned from Berlin and noted that what had happened during his absence in the motherland "evokes regret." He promised to examine the issue along with the authorities and he expressed confidence that "everything will end peacefully and well."


"The patriarchate of Georgia has been conducting a discussion for five hours now; up to 20 member of the Holy Synod are present at a meeting with the patriarch," a journalist of the Georgian First Channel reported.


Georgian President Georgy Margvelashvili also had a meeting with the patriarch. He reported that "I took part in a very open and interesting discussion." He was quoted by the administration of the head of state.


"The patriarch conducted this very interesting meeting. They talked about the difficulties existing in the patriarchate very openly. This was a conference where all had the opportunity to express their own opinion," the president told journalists after the meeting and he noted that it would be good if politicians in the country also conducted such discussions.


According to information of Georgian news media, it is not ruled out that after the conclusion of discussions the patriarchate will make a statement. Attorneys for Mamaladze, in their turn, state that the accused wishes to meet with the patriarch, after which he promises to break his silence. (tr. by PDS, posted 21 February 2017)

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