The European Court of Human Rights issued a judgement in the case of archpriest Giorgi Mamaladze, Mamaladze v. Georgia.
According to the judgement, the Court held, unanimously, that there had been no violation of Article 6 § 1 (right to a fair trial) of the European Convention on Human Rights.
“The case Mamaladze v. Georgia (application no. 9487/19) concerned the proceedings against a priest and director of a medical clinic for plotting to kill the personal secretary of the Georgian Orthodox Church’s Patriarch while in Berlin. She was part of a delegation accompanying the Patriarch to that city for medical treatment. Mr Mamaladze was ultimately found guilty of “preparation of murder”.
In today’s Chamber judgment in the case the European Court of Human Rights held, unanimously,
that there had been:
no violation of Article 6 § 1 (right to a fair trial) of the European Convention on Human Rights concerning the manner in which the key evidence had been obtained and used against him;
a violation of Article 6 § 1 regarding the closing of his criminal trial to the public; and a violation of Article 6 § 2 (presumption of innocence).
The Court found that the trial court had not sufficiently addressed Mr Mamaladze’s argument regarding the possibility of only partly closing the trial to the public and that certain public statements following his arrest, the prosecuting authorities’ disclosing material from the criminal case file, and a non-disclosure obligation, considered cumulatively, had encouraged the public to believe he had been guilty before the actual verdict.
However, it considered that the proceedings as a whole had been fair, notably with regard to Mr Mamaladze’s allegations concerning the key evidence – cyanide found in his suitcase checked into a Berlin flight. It found in particular that the procedure for the seizure and search of his luggage had been lawful and that his argument that the cyanide had been planted had not been made out. Furthermore, his arguments concerning the use of the evidence against him had been dismissed by the courts in reasoned decisions”, reads the judgement.
According to the information released by the court, the applicant, Giorgi Mamaladze, is a Georgian national who was born in 1984 and lives in Tbilisi (Georgia). At the relevant time he was an archpriest and the director of a medical clinic under the authority of the Georgian Orthodox Church.