The Battle of the 'King & 'Queen'


The lavish royal wedding that initiated a chain of events nine years ago is approaching its catastrophic finale. The Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) has initiated a domestic violence case against Davit Bagration-Mukhraneli, according to the Article 126 prima of the Criminal Code of Georgia. The investigation is looking to find out if the ‘King’ beat up the ‘Queen’ in front of the ‘Prince,’ and the details of the events that happened at 10 pm on May 9, 2014, in the Royal Residency in Saguramo. Anna Bagrationi’s lawyer revealed that Anna was victim to multiple domestic abuse instances even just a month following the wedding, at the time when they lived in Spain as well as after their return. They claim that the abovementioned incident was the culmination of a chain of abuse that preceded it.

If the accusations are proven true, Davit Bagrationi could face imprisonment of up to three years, and his case could be aggravated as rumors in the MIA suggest that Davit has been involved in a number of other similar instances of beating up women. TV host Shorena Begashvili has been called in for questioning, as back in 2012 she claimed on the TV Show ‘Time for Truth’ that she was beaten by him. Another woman, whose identity has not been revealed, is also called to testify. In light of the events, it can’t be ruled out that multiple women could accuse him of physical abuse, which will certainly result in the requalification of the case and a court rule potentially involving imprisonment for a much longer period. The case is further intensified as Davit did not appear for questioning and left Georgia. However, his lawyers argue that the reason was the illness of his mother, Donna Maria de Zornoza.

It is unknown when, if at all, Davit Bagration-Mukhraneli will return to Georgia, but meanwhile the royal intrigues are heading for a peak, as politics and past accusations are introduced to the case. Davit’s lawyer, Levan Chkhaidze, openly accused Shorena Begashvili of being an agent appointed by the Security Services with the specific goal of discrediting his client. Shorena categorically denies the accusations, claiming that she had personal relations with Davit before the royal wedding and that she is not to be blamed for the royal family breakdown. Notably, nine years ago, during the royal wedding at the Trinity Cathedral, the center of Tbilisi was “occupied” by the opposition, which was planning to overthrow the government under President Saakashvili. The religious royal wedding initiated by the Patriarch of All Georgia, and talks about transitioning to a Constitutional Monarchy, added to the tension at the time.

In the same period, Georgian monarchists, led by businessman Levan Vasadze, hailed the wedding as a historic event and declared it as the beginning of the end of President Saakashvili’s government. Two years later, Anna gave birth to their son Giorgi, and Patriarch Ilia II claimed he would be personally involved in raising the future King of Georgia, who would replace the presidential republic. “Had I not been Mr. Davit Bagrationi’s friend and the head of the country, I would also have appointed an agent. Discrediting Davit was in the interests of the government at the time, which perceived the idea of a constitutional monarchy as a personal threat,” Chkhaidze said.

Many things happened in Georgian politics afterwards, and instead of having a King Bagrationi, President Saakashvili was replaced by billionaire Ivanishvili. But after Ilia II mentioned the constitutional monarchy in his sermon again, politicians as well as members of the general public, began actively discussing the issue, and the government quickly turned on the defensive, feeling threatened. Head of Parliament Irakli Kobakhidze plans to meet Ilia II together with representatives of the government, to discuss the matter, but the Head of Georgian Dream, Mamuka Mdinaradze, claims that the issue is not on the agenda and the Patriarch’s words were simply misinterpreted.

Against the backdrop of a search for truth through DNA examinations, the investigation of domestic violence and the ongoing political games, we might regard the part of the case that involves the division of property worth 90 thousand GEL a lyrical deviation, but let’s look more closely. Anna Bagrationi is claiming rights to the two cars that Davit Bagration-Mukhraneli purchased in 2014-15. She claims rights for ownership as the cars were purchased when they lived together. They separated officially only in 2016.

Another hit came in the local ‘Game of Thrones’ when Davit Bagrationi declared that in reality Anna’s father Nugzar Bagration-Gruzynsky’s surname is Sikharulidze. His lawyer added that he had to undergo a DNA test to prove his royal roots. Whether a genetic analysis can overweigh the domestic violence case is of course unclear, but nothing can be ruled out in Georgia's judiciary. It wouldn’t be surprising if the parties came to an agreement and this comic-like criminal-genetic royal dispute becomes a mere matter of history.

By Zaza Jgarkava

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18 April 2019 16:48