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Special Operation in Kintsvisi – Next Fairy Tale from MIA

24.08.2011

Mariam Imerlishvili

In the morning of May 26, MIA officers arrested 24-member group in the territory of Kintsvisi Monastery. The reason of their detention was plotting of an armed mutiny and illegal possession of weapon. The government-controlled national TV-Companies actively reported about the special operation. The representative of the prosecutor’s office said at the trial that it was not a special operation and the accused were detained in Tbilisi not in Kintsvisi.

Several days after the Kintsvisi special operation the information was published on the official website of the MIA www.police.ge: “On May 26, 2011 MIA officers arrested the armed group of 24 persons. The detainees resisted the police officers during detention…” This information has disappeared from the MIA website later and now the prosecutor’s office completely denies the fact about special operation held in Kintsvisi. Besarion Kartsivadze - lawyer of one of the detainees Nikoloz Goguadze- talked with the journalists of the newspapers of Kronika and Asaval-Dasavali.

The lawyer said according to case materials the date of Nikoloz Gaguadze’s detention is not the day of Kintsvisi special operation but the day when he was delivered at the Tbilisi Police Main Department. In fact, Nikoloz Goguadze and other detainees were detained in Kintsvisi though the operation was carried out through serious violations and no corresponding documents and protocols were drawn up on the place. Later, on May 27 the police drew up those documents in Tbilisi and wrote as if those people were detained at the Tbilisi Police Main Department.

According to the lawyer, the case materials demonstrate that 24 detainees were not brought to the Tbilisi Police Department from Kintsvisi by force but they were called to the police department as witnesses.

Beso Kartsivadze said there is valid proof – document signed by the head of analytic department at the MIA Shota Utiashvili, which proves that special operation was carried out in Kintsvisi and aimed to arrest an armed group. The attorney petitioned to the court to invite Shota Utiashvili as a witness but in reply, the MIA provided the court only with the document which said Utiashvili was on business leave and could not appear to the trial. The judge finished the hearing without Utiashvili’s testimony.

The detainees were also accused in possession of weapon but in fact only one out of 24 detainees – former police officer Mikheil Tsilikashvili – had firearm. He worked for the security service. However, the investigator compelled several detainees to state that they had seen Nika Goguadze with TT system pistol several times. Later, this gun was somehow found in Goguadze’s car though when the car was brought from Kintsvisi by riot police officers it was sealed up.

According to the lawyer, the detainees have serious injuries on the body; Nikoloz Goguadze was ruthlessly beaten. He was being interrogated from midnight of May 26 till 6:10 am on May 27. At 6:12 am investigator arrested him as an accused. Before that, he noticed that Goguadze had bruises on the face and body; he had problem with pelvis too.

Beso Kartsivadze asked the investigator why the prisoner was questioned in similar situation. The investigator replied the detainee had no injuries during the interrogation process though he had written it in the interrogation protocol.

Besides Goguadze, other detainees also had injuries but many of them, having cooperated with the prosecutor’s office, said in their testimonies that they had received injuries in Kintsvisi as a result of different incidents – one of them had bumped into a tree, another had hit his head against the car and others fell down.

Finally, several detainees signed plea-agreement. Some of them received conditional sentence, others were sent to prison for 3, 4 and 5 years.

On August 12, trial on Nikoloz Goguadze and Oleg Keshelava also finished. Nika Goguadze was sentenced to 12-year-imprisonment for plotting the mutiny and illegal possession of weapon; Oleg Keshelava was sent to prison for 6 years.

Lawyer Besarion Kartsivadze said they intend to appeal to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg where Nikoloz Goguadze will win the process by all means.

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