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Former Diplomat Vakhtang Maisaia Requests Prosecutor’s Office to Investigate His Torture Facts


Salome Chkheidze

On October 24, Human Rights House Tbilisi held press-conference on the case of Vakhtang Maisaia, former political prisoner. The Military Expert appealed to the Prosecutor’s Office to start investigation into his torture facts during imprisonment. 

Based on the recommendation of the Human Rights Center, on October 21, the former political prisoner Vakhtang Maisaia addressed to the Prosecutor’s Office with the request to investigate his torture facts during imprisonment. Board chairman of the HRHT Aleko Tskitishvili said initially Maisaia’s case was unified with the cases of other former prisoners, who were also victims of torture. However, the investigation did not advance and lawyers decided to file a new appeal to the prosecutor’s office.

“I was first interrogated on February 20; then on March 12-13 when they spoke about systemic crime. I was told the investigation was progressing in this direction and intended to unify my case in it. 3000 people were questioned about torture and inhuman treatment but there is no result from it; so I filed personal appeal on October 21 and requested to launch criminal case particularly on my torture fact. I request to timely react on it and expose concrete facts and perpetrators,” Maisaia said.

Lawyer of Human Rights Center Tamar Avaliani said investigation of torture facts by investigative bodies and prosecutor’s office is still a problem because they prolong the discussion of the suits of tortured prisoners and former prisoners. In accordance to the European Convention on Human Rights, prohibition of the torture is absolute right and states are authorized to timely investigate torture facts and punish perpetrators; though this obligation is not executed. “We think it will be very effective if nongovernmental organizations will separately represent all cases on torture of prisoners, file complaints and try to speed up the investigation into torture cases,” Aleko Tskitishvili said at the press-conference.

On May 5, 2009 former political prisoner Vakhtang Maisaia was arrested for the espionage in favor of Russia. According to the investigation, during August war he was informing the Russian side about the location of Georgian army.

Maisaia said, in the building of the Special Operative Department of MIA and then in the penitentiary establishment, senior officials of the investigative bodies and penitentiary establishments tortured, inhumanly treated and degraded him with different methods. Namely, he was physically and psychologically abused, insulted, beaten to get his confession statement; they imitated shooting, and threatened with the death in the torture room. Maisaia said the former political prisoner was threatened with suffocation and placement in the punishment cell. In January 2013, Maisaia was released from prison as a political prisoner and all charges were canceled against him.    
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