Archpriest Giorgi Mamaladze reportedly attempted to poison the Georgian Patriarch’s personal secretary with cyanide in order to gain a greater position of power within the church.
The Patriarch was in Berlin at the time of the attempted murder, undergoing gallbladder surgery. His secretary, Shorena Tetruashvili, was with him.
Mamaladze was arrested on February 10 at Tbilisi International Airport where cyanide was found in his luggage, according to Christian Today.
A witness to Mamaladze’s poisoning attempt, Irakli Mamaladze (no known relation), testified that the priest had attempted to bribe him into selling him potassium cyanide in exchange for a good position within the church.
Irakli Mamaladze did not sell Giorgi Mamaladze the poison, but instead recorded their meetings, which has now been used as evidence against Giorgi.
In court, Mamaladze has pleaded not guilty to attempted murder. If convicted, he will face a prison sentence of between seven and 15 years.
Mamaladze serves as the director general of the Georgian Patriarchate’s St. Joachim and Ana Medical Center, as well as the deputy head of the Patriarchate’s property management service.
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Publication date: March 9, 2017