Patriarch Ilia will return home February 20; suspected would-be-poisoner denies accusations

Moscow, February 16, 2017


According to Lasha Zhvania, the head of the Patriarch of Georgia Foundation, His Holiness Patriarch-Catholicos Ilia II will return to Tbilisi on February 20 from Germany where he underwent gall bladder surgery. His Holiness is eager to get home to his flock, reports Blagovest.

All medical procedures went smoothly, and the doctors have approved the primate to return home, Zhvania reports.

Meanwhile, regarding the previously reported poisoning attempt, the foundation head stated, “We are awaiting the results of the investigation. We need to know more details.”

According to public defender Ucha Nanushvili, Archpriest George Mamaladze, stopped with cyanide and a ticket to Berlin at the Tbilisi airport, has denied any guilt in supposedly planning to poison the patriarch as he lay in a German hospital. Moreover, Mamaladze denies that he had any cyanide, calling it an “absurd accusation.”

A criminal case has been opened under the articles “preparation for premeditated murder” and “the illegal acquisition, keeping, carrying, production, shipment, transfer or sale of firearms, ammunition, explosives or explosive devices,” which is punishable by imprisonment of seven to fifteen years.

“We were able to avoid a tragedy. This tragedy could have caused the destabilization not only of the Church, but of the country. It would be a personal tragedy for every one of us and for the whole nation,” Georgian Minister of Justice Teya Tsulukiani stated.


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