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Human Rights Center officially petitioned the State Inspector with regard to Murad Tsurtsumia’s case


Human Rights Center continues defense of the legal interests of Murad Tsurtsumia’s family. Based on the medical expertise and other evidence, the organization does not exclude that the charges brought against the defendants may be aggravated. 

On January 2, 2020, as a result of conflict about the car nearby the Varketili district cemetery in Tbilisi, the officer of the Ministry of Internal Affairs Zurab Popkhadze and his companion Vakhtang Burdzenidze beat 24-years-old Murad Tsurtsumia to death. The defendants also beat the brother of the deceased young man Mukhran Chkhvirkia, who managed to escape the harassers. 

Murad Tsurtsumia’s injuries were inconsistent with life and on January 4 he deceased in hospital. Mukhran Chkhvirkia, with multiple injuries received as a result of group violence, was placed in Gori military hospital.

Murad Tsurtsumia, who lost conscious as a result of grave injuries, was taken to the house of one of the defendants, where they did not call emergency brigade throughout the night and nobody provided him with medical assistance. In the morning of January 3, Zurab Popkhadze left the house and Burdzenadze called ambulance after Murad Tsurtsumia’s health conditions particularly worsened. 

On January 5, officers of the Isani-Samgori unit of the Ministry of Internal Affairs arrested Zurab Popkhadze, the head of the second unit of the Tbilisi Division of the MIA’s Special Tasks Department, who was dismissed from the position based on the court ruling. The court imposed imprisonment as compulsory measure on him. 

On January 6, prosecutor’s office granted the status of victim’s assignee to the mother of the deceased young man and to Mukhran Chkhvirkia. 

HRC lawyer, together with expert, upon the agreement with the family, attended the examination of the deceased Murad Tsurtsumia’s body, which did not confirm the allegation that he had lost eye as a result of physical assault. 

Although defendant Vakhtang Burdzenadze was questioned twice, the law enforcement body did not arrest him immediately and released him after interrogation based on the receipt. On January 8, as a result of the petition of Human Rights Center and other civil society organizations, Vakhtang Burdzenadze was also arrested. The Tbilisi City Court imposed imprisonment as compulsory measure on him. 

On January 8, with the participation of HRC lawyer, victim Mukhran Chkhvirkia was questioned, who once again confirmed that two persons participated in the accident on the cemetery. 

The defendants are charged under the Article 117, Part 6 (intentional grave injury of body that caused death), Article 126 Part 11 – “b” (beating or other violence which caused physical pain, in group), and Article 143 part 1 (illegal restriction of freedom) of the Criminal Code of Georgia, which are punished with imprisonment from 8 up to 11 years in length.

Today, Human Rights Center officially petitioned the State Inspector to investigate the murder case of Murad Tsurtsumia under her jurisdiction in order to independently evaluate the circumstances of alleged torture and inhuman treatment of the deceased young man and also to enjoy her authority to determine impartial truth over the case. Human rights organizations, including Human Rights Center, have already petitioned the State Inspector with the same request.

Human Rights Center 

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