Deacon arrested for plotting to poison top Georgian cleric

Deacon arrested for plotting to poison top Georgian cleric

Deacon Giorgi Mamaladze, left, Director of the Property Department of the Georgian Orthodox Church, has been charged with conspiracy to murder a top cleric.

Officials, according to the Guardian, suspect him of planning to kill Georgian patriarch, Ilia II, right, who is recuperating from gall-bladder surgery in Berlin.

Mamaladze, who is also the Director General of the Georgian Patriarchate’s Saint Joachim and Ana Medical Centre, was detained at Tbilisi airport on February 10 after he attempted to fly out to visit Ilia II with cyanide in his baggage, Georgia’s Prosecutor General, Irakli Shotadze, told journalists on yesterday (Monday).

Investigators found that Mamaladze, prior to his arrest, had been looking to buy cyanide “and was ready to pay a considerable sum of money for it“.

Police also reportedly found firearms at the priest’s home.

The alleged scandal has shaken the small, deeply religious country, which claims to have been the second nation to adopt Christianity in the fourth century.

The Georgian Prime Minister, Giorgi Kvirikashvili said:

We avoided a huge disaster. A crime against our country, a perfidious attack on our church, has been prevented.

Kvirikashvili said he had sent the head of his personal security and a group of agents to Germany to protect the patriarch, who has recently suffered from poor health, and was supported by a bodyguard when Pope Francis visited him in Tbilisi in September.

Shotadze did not name the highly placed church official he alleged Mamaladze had been plotting to kill. But his statement came after Rustavi 2 television reported on Sunday night that there may have been an attempt to poison Ilia II.

Shotadze said the investigation had started after an acquaintance claimed that Mamaladze had asked him for cyanide in exchange for money and other “illegal benefits”.

Archbishop Andria, speaking to Rustavi 2 about the arrest, said:

Any such action by a priest is unbelievable.

But Archpriest Shio Paichadze said he did not believe the accusations, recalling that Mamaladze had had a close relationship with the patriarch.

Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin, a prominent voice in the Russian Orthodox Church, told the National News Service on Monday he believed there was a “political subtext” to the apparent attempt on Ilia II’s life, which he said could be an attempt to pressure the influential Georgian Orthodox Church.

If convicted, Mamaladze could face up to 15 years in prison.

16 responses to “Deacon arrested for plotting to poison top Georgian cleric”

  1. Matt says:

    Why is this so strange? I think its rather mundane that a priest, or whatever he is, planned to murder another priest. The pious commit all kinds of crimes … and always have done. Name the crime and the godly have done it.

  2. sailor1031 says:

    The patriarch looks to be pretty much dead already. Couldn’t Giorgi have just had a little patience? or is that not a christian virtue any more?

  3. Trevor Blake says:

    “We avoided a huge disaster. A crime against our country, a perfidious attack BY our church, has been prevented.”

    There, I fixed it.

  4. L.Long says:

    Religious people are killing each other! Cool! And this is bad? Why?

  5. Paul says:

    Why does the old fella have a dangly pair of giant balls next to
    him on the wall painting ?
    Is he sat in the Viz office ?

  6. Matt says:

    Maybe this was an act of kindness (euthanasia) denied to those in the uk who are facing a slow painful agonising debilitating distressing lingering desperate humiliating death because the pious loving caring unelected jumped up out of touch CoE bishops want people to grovel before god begging for release, forgiveness and redemption with their dying gasps of agony.

  7. Matt says:

    And I hope the synod end up in a mass brawl today.

  8. AgentCormac says:

    Why was the old duffer supported by a bodyguard when Pope Francis visited him in Tbilisi in September? Did he think Frankie had it in for him too? Sounds like good old-fashioned paranoia to me. And as for ‘Any such action by a priest is unbelievable’ – actually, history shows there are no actions by a priest that could possibly be classed as unbelievable. Not by a very long way!

  9. Angela_K says:

    Sorry this is OT but important: The British Humanist Association has suggested we write to the BBC regarding the awful “Thought for the day”slot on Radio 4’s “Today” programme and the fact non-religious philosophy is excluded. The daily few minutes of unchallenged religious propaganda has my partner and I either laughing or shouting at the wireless. See here:

  10. Matt says:

    I’ve been doing that for yonks … but I will do it again. And again and again.

  11. 1859 says:

    The priest Marmalade is head of the “Property Department of the Georgian Orthodox Church”….this says it all. Didn’t christ extol the virtues of poverty? Not real estate management? And as I recall there’s something about a rich man, a camel and the eye of a needle. I wonder whether the word ‘hypocrisy’ existed 2000 years ago?

  12. AgentCormac says:


    I just tried to use that link you posted, but having composed a message to send to the BBC nothing happened when I clicked on the ‘Continue’ button. Repeatedly. Is this a recent initiative? If so and the link isn’t working I’ll let the BHA know. If not I assume it’s now dead.

  13. Brian Jordan says:

    No sign of that BHA form on the Wayback Machine. There are other what-you-can-do-to-help pages but the most recent is nearly a year old.
    I don’t recall seeing it previously – but the BHA sometimes seems to put things on its site without mentioning them in its circulars to members.

  14. AgentCormac says:

    @Brian Jordan

    Thanks for the info.

  15. Angela_K says:

    I’ve just noticed the link on the BHA site is not working. I have written [proper letters] to BBC several times in the past about “Thought for the day, only once did I get a reply.

  16. John says:

    It’s one way to fill a dead mans shoes.
    Nothing these clerics do surprises me any more.
    The Palestinian who holds a lease for the Imperial Hotel is still clinging on, despite hostile zionist neighbours.
    If any of you ever visit Jerusalem, please stay with him.