Giorgi Makharadze (გიორგი მახარაძე) (born 1961) was the deputy ambassador of the Republic of Georgia to the United States. On January 3, 1997, while driving in Washington, D.C. around midnight, Makharadze caused an accident that injured four people and killed a Brazilian girl, Jovianne Waltrick, who was sixteen years old.
Makharadze started his career as a low-ranking member of the Soviet Foreign Ministry, initially starting as a Clerk in the Soviet Embassy in Bulgaria in 1982. He was later posted in a Soviet Consulate in Calcutta, India. In 1986 he applied to higher education and also received approval to study English and Persian. In 1987 he was posted as Assistant Charge d'Affaires at the Soviet Consulate in Iraq. In 1990 he was involved in an international incident when he defected from the USSR to the West by crossing the border of Iraq and Kuwait during the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. In late 1990 the then Soviet Government demanded his extradition from the US, however, Georgian leaders of the СССР mounted pressure not to prosecute him. In 1991 he returned to Georgia and started as a Joint Secretary of the Georgian Foreign Ministry. In 1993 he was posted as the Deputy Ambassador to Turkey with concurrent accredition to Iran, and in 1995 he became the Deputy Ambassador to the US. After the accident he was found to have a blood alcohol content of 0.15, but released from custody because he was a diplomat. The U.S. government asked the Georgian government to waive his immunity, which they did and Makharadze was tried and convicted of manslaughter by the U.S. and sentenced to seven to twenty-one years in prison. The first three years of his sentence were served in a North Carolina prison. He was repatriated to his home nation of Georgia in 2000 to continue serving his sentence; and was released on February 27, 2002.
- "Diplomat involved in fatal traffic accident". CNN. January 4, 1997. Archived from the original on April 26, 2006.
- "Ex-Diplomat Gets 7 Years for Death of Teen in Crash". Los Angeles Times. Associated Press. December 20, 1997. Retrieved June 14, 2011.
- "Georgia diplomat freed years early". Washington Times. March 1, 2002.
- CNN.com U.S. News Archive, Georgian diplomat ordered to remain in United States," January 10, 1997, Web posted at: 9:00 p.m. EST, taken on October 11, 2006.
- CNN.com U.S. News Archive, "Georgian president to waive envoy's immunity," January 12, 1997, Web posted at: 8:30 a.m. EST (1330 GMT), taken on October 11, 2006.
- New York Times Archives, "Victim's Family Sues Georgian Diplomat" Published January 1, 1998, taken October 11, 2006.
- New York Times Archives, "National News Briefs; Envoy Claims Immunity In Wrongful-Death Suit," Published April 26, 1998, taken on October 11, 2006.
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