It’s a case with all the features of a period thriller: priests, poison and a supposed curse. And now, the trial of a senior Georgian Orthodox Church cleric for alleged attempted murder has taken on another characteristic of a whodunit -- a heavy shroud of secrecy – after the hearings were fully closed to the public.
Deacon Giorgi Mamaladze, 32, faces 16-20 years in prison for allegedly attempting to poison the Church leader’s secretary, Shorena Tetruashvili, the single most powerful woman and lay person within the boys’ club that is the Church hierarchy.
Agreeing with the government that an open discussion of the trial’s details would damage “public morality,” possibly threaten “public order” and violate the privacy and safety of those involved in the case, Judge Badri Shonia on May 5 upheld the prosecution’s motion for a closed-door trial.
Some see another motivation for the decision.
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