Published: 6 Nov 2007
Patsuria v Georgia
Case No. 30779/04
Judgment date: 6/11/07
The applicant, Gia Patsuria, a Georgian national, was born in 1961 and is currently in prison in Rustavi (Georgia). Under a contract of 18 January 2001, the Georgian Ministry of State Property Management undertook to transfer to the applicant 90% of the shares of the Georgian State Insurance Joint Stock Company on condition that he increase the Company’s initial capital to 480,000 Georgian Laris (€18,000), within a month of signing the contract. In response to requests by the Ministry in March and May 2001, the applicant submitted documents which evidenced the transfer of US$250,000 (€07,000) to the Company’s Georgian bank account.
Following the recommendation of the Georgian National Bank (a State agency) the Prosecutor General’s Office examined the applicant’s financial operations. On 26 January 2004 the senior prosecutor, having established the authenticity of the bank records, refused to institute criminal proceedings for an alleged falsification of those documents.
On 28 April 2004, the Prosecutor General personally opened a criminal case regarding misappropriation of 90% of the State’s shares by fraud and the falsification of bank documents. The applicant was charged and taken into custody in May 2004. His detention on remand was ordered, upheld and extended by court decisions of 8 and 13 May and 6 December 2004. He was finally convicted of attempted fraud on 11 February 2005, and sentenced to three years’ imprisonment, a decision upheld on appeal.
The applicant complained that detention on remand had been unreasonable within the meaning of Article 5(3) because the authorities had merely relied on the gravity of the charges and an alleged reasonable suspicion he had committed a crime.
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