Legal support of Natalia Ilicheva in the “Cartographers’ Case”14 October, 2020
Project Title: Legal support of Natalia Ilicheva in the “Cartographers’ Case”
First phase: October 2020 – December 2020
Second phase: February 2021 – July 2021
Project Supporter: Open Society Georgia Foundation
Project Goal: The project envisages channeling the investigation of the so-called “Cartographers’ Case” in the right direction and providing relevant information to the public. At the same time, the project will provide qualified legal assistance to the accused Natalia Ilicheva and protect her interests in court and other state bodies.
Giorgi Makharadze, a lawyer of “Rights Georgia”, provides legal aid to Ms. Ilicheva since October, 2020.
About the “Cartographers’ Case”:
The Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia opened a probe against two civil servants working at the Foreign Ministry and the Border Police, accusing them of conspiring to cede lands to Azerbaijan while being the members of the state commission on the delimitation of borders.
On October 07, 2020, two state experts, Iveri Melashvili and Natalia Ilychova were sent to pre-trial detention, facing charges under Article 308 (1) of the Criminal Code of Georgia: “actions directed at the violation of the territorial integrity of the country” which carries the prison term of ten to fifteen years.
According to the charges brought by the Prosecutor’s office, Iveri Melashvili, Head of the Service of Georgian State Border Delimitation, Demarcation and Border Relations of the Department of Neighboring Countries at the Foreign Ministry, as well as Natalia Ilychova, Chief Inspector of the Land Border Defense Department of the Border Police, concealed the original “1938 map, with scale 1:200 000” that was supposed to be used in the delimitation talks with Azerbaijan, that would have been more beneficial to Georgia.
Detained cartographers were released on bail on January 28, 2021.
Court proceeding on the case are in progress.