A Georgian citizen of Azerbaijani descent charged for fraud in Georgia has been sentenced to 6 years in prison. Farman Jeyranli, 59, was arrested on 20 May charged with ‘extorting a large sum of money from a patient through deception and hiding information dangerous to a patient’s health’.
Jeyranli claimed that his detention was orchestrated by the same group who he alleges abducted Azerbaijani journalist Afgan Mukhtarli from Tbilisi on 29 May.
Jeyranli is the founder of Tbilisi-based medical clinic the Lancet. Tbilisi City Court found him guilty of extorting money but was acquitted on the charges of hiding information from a patient.
The Tbilisi-based Human Rights Centre filed a case against the Lancet on 16 November 2016, for the death on 12 February 2016 of Giorgi Chubinidze, after he received a liver transplant. They accused the Lancet of deceiving Chubinidze into taking out a $40,000 loan to pay for treatment.
Jeyranli denied the charges against him, claiming he was a ‘personal hostage of Azerbaijani dictator Ilham Aliyev’.
On 4 May, Jeyranli was named alongside several prominent Azerbaijani opposition activists and journalists in exile, including Mukhtarli and opposition politician Gozal Bayramli, in an article on pro–Azerbaijani Government news website Haqqin.az, which portrayed Tbilisi as a nest of anti-Azerbaijani subversion. Bayramli was arrested by Azerbaijani police while crossing from Georgia on 25 May.
[Read more about Jeyranli’s case on OC Media: Georgian–Azerbaijani on trial for fraud in Tbilisi claims to be a ‘hostage of Azerbaijani dictator’]