Georgian consul still unable to meet Belavia airplane ‘hijacker’


“He wouldn’t have done it if he had been sober. He had drunk a lot at the airport – his relatives and friends can confirm it. I have discussed the issue with many people,” Georgian consul to Belarus Teimuraz Sanadze commented on the Belavia airplane incident.

Members of the anti-terrorist departmental had to neutralize a possible terrorist on board a Kutaisi-Minsk plane on the morning of June 10. It was a Georgian citizen who had sent a note to the pilots and demanded to head for Rome.

KGB has sent Gela Sakhelashvili’s case to the Investigation Committee. The committee will study all the details. The final charges may be brought against the Georgian at the end of the week – on Friday, June 20.

Gela received a lawyer at the beginning of the investigation, KGB told Euroradio.

“We know nothing although all Georgian TV channels are reporting it. We only know that new information will appear in 10 days,” hijacker’s relative Iya Tvaradze said.

“He was provided with an interpreter and lawyer on the very first day,” Georgian consul Teimuraz Sanadze continued. “The expenses are covered by Belarus. Only a Belarusian citizen can defend him. Foreign lawyers are only allowed to help local lawyers.”

He has not managed to meet the suspect yet, the Georgian consul added.

Teimuraz Sanadze: “I am waiting for permission to meet him. We have sent a note to the MFA. I will not be able to meet him without permission. However, I think that Gela regrets his deed. It was a silly thing to do. Everyone knows that you can hijack a plane but you cannot avoid punishment for it. Any country will detain hijackers, they have no chance. What will happen next? That is why no one hijacks airplanes nowadays. The era ended in the 90s. I think that Gela did not intend to do it. It was a a drunk man’s bad joke …”