A guilty verdict has been delivered in Georgia’s poisoning conspiracy, an outré case that locally evoked comparisons to everything from the Game of Thrones to the Da Vinci Code.
After nearly seven months of investigation and trial, complete with cyanide, snake venom and macabre prophesies, the Tbilisi Criminal Court on September 5 sentenced a senior prelate, Archpriest Giorgi Mamaladze, to nine years in prison for an attempt on the life of Shorena Tetruashvili, the influential secretary and confidante of the powerful leader of the Georgian Orthodox Church, 84-year-old Patriarch Ilia II.
Mamaladze, in his early 30s, was tasked with managing the Church’s rich coffers and inspecting the finances of the patriarchate, or Church administration. His criticism of alleged corruption within the Church, the country’s most influential, state-financed institution, prompted some Georgians to question if the case against him was payback. Or perhaps the sign of a struggle to succeed Patriarch Ilia II.
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