At the arrest house of Baumettes, where he was extracted last week to appear at the maximum trial of the Georgian mafia – 34 defendants tried until Friday in Nancy – Kakhaber Shushanashvili, aka “Kakha”, is seen as a ghost. For his fellow inmates in Marseille, this alleged godfather has an unpronounceable name and his face is a fleeting shadow. “He is under close surveillance and is confined to solitary confinement for 23 hours a day.” He is only allowed an hour’s walk a day in a private courtyard and when he is taken to the hospital for care, he is escorted by 20 elite policemen hooded and armed to the teeth, “laments Silvio Rossi-Arnaud who ironically renamed his client” Hannibal Lecter “, from the name of the legendary serial killer of the Silence of the Lambs. “We treat him like a monster, except that he has been in custody for four years and has not been sentenced,” the lawyer protests.
An exceptional treatment linked to the extreme danger given to this 46-year-old Georgian, suspected of being the undisputed leader of the formidable gang of “Vory v zakone” (“thieves in the law”).
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