Former Georgian diplomat Vakhtang Maysaya was sentenced to 20 years in prison on Friday for espionage. Maysaya gathered intelligence information for various foreign intelligence agencies.
In May of 2009, Vakhtang Maysaya, a former employee of the Georgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, was apprehended and charged with transmitting classified information to several foreign intelligence services during his tenure at the foreign affairs ministry.
On Friday, Maysaya, who used to work in the NATO bureau of the ministry, was found guilty and sentenced to 20 years in prison by the Georgian city court, according to Russia Today. He also allegedly received $800 remuneration for his spying activities. Despite his denial of being involved in such actions, Maysaya’s defense attorney, Natiya Korkotatze, will plan to appeal the ruling.
“Maysaya’s arrest is a political case. In fact, he was effectively found guilty at the moment of his arrest. For one month we have a right to appeal, and we’ll use that right. We will appeal to the Supreme Court and to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.”
Entry News reports that the Georgian prosecutor’s office originally asked for a 24-year sentence but Korkotatze said, “The prosecutor’s office has asked for a 24-year sentence….even though there is no evidence of [Maysaya’s] guilt.”
After leaving the ministry, Maysaya became a political science professor in one of Tbilisi’s universities.
Throughout the ordeal, officials in charge offered him several deals in exchange for pleading guilty, however, Maysaya rejected each deal.