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Unprepared meeting – why the Georgian side did not translate the initial conclusion of the expertise bureau on Archil Tatunashvili’s case?


Lado Bitchashvili, Shida Kartli

On June 7, in Ergneti, the murder of Archil Tatunashvili was the key topic of the four-sided meeting in the frame of the Incident Prevention and Response Mechanisms. However, representatives of the Government of Georgia did not present the initial conclusion of the expertise on Archil Tatunashvili’s body carried out by the Samkharauli Expertise Bureau. 

Deputy head of the analytic department of the State Security Service Irakli Antadze said the expertise conclusion was not translated into the languages familiar to the parties. However, he did not clarify why they had not translated the document. “During the meeting, we informed them about the case details. The document was prepared in Georgian language and they may not be able to read it.”

Representative of the Tskhinvali de-facto government Egor Kochiev said the Georgian side had not presented the Georgian expertise conclusion during the meeting; however, even if they had presented it, it could not change anything.

“I cannot say whether I can trust the conclusion of the Georgian expertise because, first – I have not seen it and second – I do not have ground to double-check the truth because we have our expertise conclusion and I fully trust it,” Egor Kochiev said.

The IPRM meeting had already started when the former public defender of Georgia Ucha Nanuashvili arrived in Ergneti; currently he represents Human Rights Center. Ucha Nanuashvili requested attendance of HRC representatives as observers at the IPRM meetings, when the murder case of Archil Tatunashvili is discussed as the HRC defends interests of Tatunashvili’s family.

“With our engagement we want to provide the negotiation parties with the information about the investigation process and receive maximum information from them. Our attendance at these negotiations as observers is very important,” said HRC representative Ucha Nanuashvili, who was refused to attend the June 7 meeting claiming that the list of participants is created in advance. 

Ucha Nanuashvili said that Human Rights Center will officially address the organizers and participants of the IPRM negotiations and request attendance of the HRC representatives during July 10 meeting. He said, all formats shall be used to support the investigation over Archil Tatunashvili’s murder case and will raise issue of inviting international experts in this format. 

According to the preliminary conclusion of the Georgian Expertise Bureau, Archil Tatunashvili had more than 100 injuries on the body, which proves that he was most likely tortured. However, according to the conclusion, it is impossible to estimate the exact reason of his death, which is caused by several circumstances – the body of deceased Tatunashvili was delivered one month after his death to the Georgian side and second – internal organs were removed. In order to conduct substantial expertise, the Georgian Authority is requesting the occupation regime to transfer the internal organs of Archil Tatunashvili to them however the agreement has not been reached yet.

On March 20, one month after Archil Tatunashvili’s decease in an obscure situation in the occupied territory, the Tskhinvali de-facto government handed the body of Tatunashvili and the conclusion of the Russian expertise bureau to the Government of Georgia; the conclusion reads that Archil Tatunashvili has deceased of acute heart failure. 

Tskhinvali de-facto state security ministry reported about the arrest of Archil Tatunashvili on February 22 under the charge of genocide. On February 23, Tskhinvali based TV-company IR reported about Archil Tatunashvili’s death and mentioned the information disseminated by the de-facto security committee as the official version of his death. 

“When transporting him to the pretrial detention setting the detainee tried to grab a gun from the security guard. His action was reacted immediately and police used power and special tools against him. Archil Tatunashvili lost balance and slipped on the stairs. He received serious injuries and was taken to hospital, where he passed away.” 

The family of Tatunashvili, Human Rights Center, which defends their legal interests and the Government of Georgia mistrust this version 

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