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Investigation commenced in the alleged abuse of professional power by police officers

28.02.2017

 
Lana Giorgidze

“According to the request of my acquaintance, I came to the flat in Leselidze Street in Rustavi, where soon armed people broke into; some of them were in masks. They pushed me down, twisted my hands and put me in irons. I asked who they were and what they wanted. They answered they were police officers and could do anything whatever they wished. Then they put a pillow on my face and started beating me; I warned them I would sue them and they said the syringe on the bed belonged to me and arrested me under the Article 260 of the Criminal Code of Georgia (illicit preparation, production, purchase, keeping, shipment, transfer or sale of narcotics, the analogy or precursor thereof),” convicted L.Sh wrote to Human Rights Center. 

Lawyer of Human Rights Center Eka Lomidze said in December of 2013, the convicted was physically abused by the officers of the Rustavi police unit # 3 during detention.
“We studied the case after the convicted person applied to us and found out that the investigation into the physical assault and ill-treatment of the convicted L.Sh was carried out ineffectively and partially,” the lawyer Eka Lomidze said.
According to her, the investigative unit of the Kvemo Kartli regional prosecutor’s office did not study examination protocol on the delivery of L.Sh to the temporary detention setting, which directly indicates that L.Sh had bruises near his left eye and forehead. 
“The examination protocol reads that the detainee had complaints against police officers and could recognize the harassers. This document was not studied during the expertise procedure in the Levan Samkharauli Forensic Expertise National Bureau, that could create grounds for different conclusion,” Eka Lomidze told humanrights.ge.
Kvemo Kartli regional prosecutor’s office sent letter to the convicted L.Sh and clarified that the expert Ketevan Bedenashvili personally examined him on February 21, 2014 and issued the conclusion, which states that the convicted had received injuries from blunt subject and was evaluated as minor injury.

“The age of the injury does not coincide with the date mentioned in the case materials – December 24, 2013. The injury is dated back on December 21-22, 2013,” the conclusion of the expert Ketevan Bedenashvili reads.
In 2013, during detention, L.Sh was examined by the doctor-traumatologist of the Rustavi Central Hospital, who wrote in the explanation letter that the detainee had a swollen spot on the face but he did not have a bruise. The independent expert of the Ltd Vektori Aleksandre Gejadze also examined the detainee, whose conclusion reads that the detainee had bruises on the left eye and swollen spot on the chick and they were dated by December 24, 2013. The Kvemo Kartli regional prosecutor’s office does not trust the conclusion and states in its letter to the convicted person that the conclusion of the expert Ketevan Bedenashvili relies on valid arguments and excludes all doubts in her evaluations. As for the conclusion of the independent expert, it relies on assumptions and exclusions. 

The convicted said the conclusions of the Rustavi Central Hospital and independent expert are another evidence to prove partiality of the forensic expertise carried out by the investigative unit.
The witness D.B also confirmed at the court hearing that the detainee did not have injuries on the body before detention. Police officer said L.Sh did not have any injuries before detention. Considering that, Eka Lomidze believes the conclusion of the Levan Samkharauli Expertise Bureau contradicts the testimonies of the witnesses in front of the court and investigative bodies. “Witness R.G confirmed in written letter that L.Sh did not have syringe during detention and police officers used physical force against him, insulted and abused their power.”
The lawyer said several evidence in the case materials prove that L.Sh received injuries during detention and was subject of ill-treatment from police officers. It is also significant to know that before he was placed in prison, L.Sh was healthy but as a result of received injuries he has polineuropatia, cannot move without cane, has pains in the waist and needs medical examination and treatment. 
Besides NGOs, the Public Defender’s Office also addressed the Ministry of Corrections about the health conditions of the convicted and requested information whether the prisoner gets medical treatment and if yes, what kind of medical treatment he receives.
The Ministry notified the Human Rights Center that the convicted person several times received medical service.
“The convicted received medical consultations from the doctors, he took laboratory and diagnostic examination. According to the diagnosis, he received and still receives the prescribed medical treatment. However, often the patient refuses to accept the medical service and corresponding protocols were prepared in each case. According to the recommendation of the neurologist, the patient is registered in the medical referral data base to take magnetic-resonance examination on his back-bone; consequently, he will take the medical treatment according to the relevant schedule. Currently, the patient’s health conditions are stable and does not need hospitalization,” the letter of the Ministry reads.
Lawyer Eka Lomidze several times notified the ministry about worsened health conditions of the convicted. She informed them that L.Sh could not move for months; he suffers from acute pains in the backbone and cannot take care of himself. The lawyer re quested to pay attention to the convict and ensure timely medical treatments for him.

The lawyer informed the Chief Prosecutor’s Office about the state of the convicted and requested timely and impartial investigation into his case.
“We request to carry out repeated expertise based on full documentation, to withdraw the photos from the temporary detention setting which clearly demonstrate the injuries on L.Sh’s body which he received as a result of abuse from police officers. We request to thoroughly and comprehensively study and investigate the fact of the abuse of power by police officers,” the address of the Human Rights Center to the Chief Prosecutor of Georgia Irakli Shotadze reads.
In accordance to the Law of Georgia on Police, the activities of a police officer shall be carried out in full respect of fundamental human rights and basic freedoms. Article 9 of the Law states that forms, methods and means of the police activities shall not violate dignity and honor of a person, shall not violate the right to life, physical inviolability and property rights, as well as other basic rights and freedoms. Abuse of professional power is punished under the Criminal Code of Georgia – Articles 333 and 1441. 

The address of Human Rights Center about renewed investigation was satisfied and the investigation was commenced in the abuse of power by police officers against L.Sh during his detention.  

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