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Sergo Tetradze’s Widow Questioned at the Trial on Megis Kardava’s Case

30.05.2013

 
Salome Chkheidze

Widow of the late officer Sergo Tetradze and officer Davit Londaridze were questioned at the trial on former head of Military Police Megis Kardava and people accused in the same case. Sergo Tetradze and Davit Londaridze were arrested and accused of espionage in September of 2011. According to investigation materials, MIA officers demanded them to make confession statements.

At the trial, Sergo Tetradze’s wife Nana Tetradze said that six strangers came at 6:00 am on September 17, 2011 and searched their house. The witness said they did not show any warrant and did not invite witnesses during the search.

“The search lasted 2 hours. They put geographical maps, compasses, documents, passport and cell phone of my husband on the table. They asked for bags to pack the things. At that moment I noticed a red memory stick. Sergo and I told them that the thing did not belong to us. They said they would clear up everything and put the stick together with other items in the bag. A military uniformed person entered the yard, caught my husband by hand and told to follow him. I asked him where he was going to take Sergo but he promised to call and inform us about everything,” Nana Tetradze said.

Nana Tetradze said 20-member group arrived at their house about one and half hour later, who again searched the house and cellar. The victim said she tried to watch them carefully but did not know what they were looking for.

“At the end when they were leaving I asked where my husband was and they said senior officials were interrogating him. I inquired who those senior officials were and I clearly remember they answered: “Bacho Akhalaia and Megis Kardava [are interrogating him].” My neighbours also heard it and can confirm it,” Nana Tetradze said.

The victim said that her husband did not return home that day; his cell phone was off. The family called lawyer Tamar Iaseishvili in the evening and asked to find Sergo. The lawyer could find him only next morning on September 18 – he was in pre-trial detention setting.

“The lawyer told me my husband felt very bad and had numerous bruises on the face; his nose seemed broken and spoke in a low voice being afraid about us and warned not to inform his old mother about his detention. Sergo told Iaseishvili that he was still in the office of Defence Ministry where he was harassed. The lawyer told me my husband had recognized Bachana Akhalaia and Megis Kardava among the people he met in the ministry.

The trial was scheduled next day, on September 19 which I attended together with my son and neighbours. Although we could not enter the hall, I managed to see and talk with my husband from the open door. He really looked horrible; his face was all in bruises and when the lawyer asked him to move forwarded, Sergo could hardly walk. I got sure he was ruthlessly beaten,” Nana Tetradze said.

Nana Tetradze did not see her husband alive since then. On September 24, her sister-in-law called her and informed about the death of her husband. The victim said the expertise had concluded that officer Tetradze died at about 11:00 on September 23. She added her husband did not have the same cloths on which he had when leaving home. Sergo Tetradze had a heavy make-up to cover bruises on the face. Nana Tetradze said she had personally searched his body and saw numerous punctures, bruises, torture marks, trauma on the skull and open wound on the right eyebrow. 

Prosecutor asked question to the widow and she clarified that Sergo Tetradze did not have any injuries on the body when leaving home; the neighbours also confirmed this fact.

The defence side asked Nana Tetradze about maps and memory sticks withdrawn from their house and the victim said her mother teaches Geography at school and had a lot of maps at home; however they were school maps and not topographic ones. As for the red memory stick, it did not belong to them; moreover, her husband could not use the stick at all.

Second witness interrogated at the process was Davit Londaridze who spoke about his torture by Megis Kardava, Bachana Akhalaia and others. Officer Londaridze said he was summoned to military police at night on September 15, 2011. Megis Kardava blamed him in espionage and demanded to confess.

“Initially, Kardava asked why I had narcotics in my drawer. I got surprised because I do not even smoke and drink wine very rarely; I had never tried narcotics in my life and could not understand what he was talking about. In reply to my words he hit me in the head. Several people caught me not to respond to Kardava who continued beating me. Then he asked why I had betrayed my country. I got surprised what he meant and asked was “Enveri 2” starting. I meant the special operation “Enveri” against alleged spies on the previous year, however they did not understand what I said and continued insulting and beating me. They were periodically taking me to the next room where walls were covered with soft material and protected me from injuring head. They beat me there and then returned to Kardava’s working room, where I was demanded to confess. I kept refusing and they were beating me again. When I lost energy and fell down, Megis Kardava started kicking me. Soon Bacho and Data Akhalaias arrived. The minister asked whether I was The traitor and then he put gun-barrel into my mouth and demanded to confess espionage or threatened with death. Data Akhalaia told me: “You know my brother is crazy and he will definitely kill you.” My life had lost sense and I did not tell him anything,” Davit Londaridze said during interrogation.

The victim said that afterwards Megis Kardava threatened him with rape; Londaridze got very afraid and agreed to make any testimony they wished. Londaridze recalled that an investigator was brought to record statement; alongside that they kept threatening him with rape. Then they chose one of three people from his cell phone – General Nairashvili, Officer Tetradze and once more person whose name Londaridze could not recall. Megis Kardava demanded Londaridze to blame one of them in espionage. Initially Londaridze was questioned about the relation with those people and finally Kardava selected Tetradze and demanded him to say as if he was providing Officer Tetradze with information.

Londaridze said, he was blamed in espionage because of contact with Aleksandre Tomashuk, who was his mate in the army. Tomashuk from Belarus was going to arrive in Georgia together with his wife and contacted Londaridze and asked meeting. The victim said he tried to avoid meeting with him because military officers are prohibited to contact foreigners and had to inform senior officers about similar facts. Finally, he could not refuse Tomashuk and agreed to meet on September 15. However, on the same night Londaridze was called and summoned to military police.   
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