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Drunken Deputy Governor Shoots Wildly in Restaurant

31.03.2006
Drunken Deputy Governor Shoots Wildly in Restaurant


“A drunken Marlen Nadiradze was running around and randomly shooting his gun in all directions“, stated one witness to an incident that took place during a party in a restaurant, arranged by the staff of the Shida Kartli Financial Police on September 9th 2004. The same witness (who does not want to be publicly named) added that two employees were wounded by Marlen Nadiradze during the incident.

The Human Rights Information and Documentation Centre managed to gather evidence regarding the case (the testimonies of witnesses Levan Vardoshvili and Ioseb Kechkhuashvili, conclusions of experts and the testimony of Marlen Nadiradze himself). The evidence listed above proves that on September 9th 2004, Marlen Nadirdze was in the ‘Gudabertia’ restaurant, where he fired a gun belonging to the Financial Police.

According to the evidence, on September 9th 2004, Shida Kartli Financial Police staff gathered in the ‘Gudabertia’ restaurant and began firing guns. Two people were wounded. Marlen Nadiradze was considered responsible for the incident as he was then the Head of the Shida Kartli Financial Police. David Kezerashvili, Head of the Financial Police, gave an order on September 1st 2004 that Nadiradze was to be dismissed from his previous position and appointed as acting chairman of the Gori Election Committee. However, after overseeing only one constituency election, he was then transferred back to his original position as Head of the Shida Kartli Financial Police. Thus, because of Kezerashvili’s orders, Marlen Nadiradze avoided any punishment. Despite the fact that the ‘Makarovi’ type gun belonged to the Financial Police, it remained with Nadiradze for eight days. Nadiradze was not however subsequently accused of using a gun that he did not own.

Furthermore, the Shida Kartli Governor Mikheil Kareli then appointed Nadiradze as his Deputy on Defense and Security Affairs – his current job. At the same time, Marlen Nadiradze sometimes acts temporarily as the Head of Division at the Osiauri Reservists Camp.

Marlen Nadiradze has now been questioned twice in regards to the case. The first time he was questioned (on September 10th 2004) he stated that he was in the toilet when he heard shooting. He refused to acknowledge participating in the incident. “I was about to leave the place because the next day I had to be in early to work with the District Committee where I had a lot of work to do”, Marlen Nadiradze wrote in his testimony. Nadiradze claims that he was told about his dismissal from his position as the Head of the Financial Police on September 9th. According to information we possess, the party in the ‘Gudabertia’ restaurant started the night of September 9th and lasted until 2-3 a.m. of the next day (September 10th). The shooting in the restaurant most likely occurred early on September 10th.

In December 2004, a criminal case was requested by the Prosecutor’s Office and a thorough investigation was carried out. The scene of the incident was studied again, the conclusions of drawn from which later contradicted Marlen Nadiradze’s testimony. Experts found traces that a ‘Makarovi’ type gun had been fired. Only Nadiradze possessed a ‘Makarovi’ gun in the restaurant at that time. Consequently, Nadiradze was interrogated for a second time. The conclusions of the ballistics experts were confirmed during Nadiradze’s second interrogation. In his second testimony, Nadiradze confessed that he had fired his own gun. “Ten minutes after I entered the restaurant, I had to leave the room for a while in order to make a telephone call. Suddenly, I saw a stranger next to the car. I thought the person was stealing the car - this is why I fired two or three shots in the air. I had not mentioned this before because it was not a matter of importance”, Nadiradze said during his second interrogation.
 
The case is currently being discussed in court. It is still unknown why the shooting started or why Marlen Nadiradze was running to and fro in the restaurant. Another question that should be asked is whether Nadiradze’s illegal act (of carrying a gun, belonging to the Financial Police for eight days) can be explained by the fact that he was informed about his dismissal late. It is also interesting that Marlen Nadiradze changed his original testimony, showing he had previously hidden the true story of what happened that night.

It should also be mentioned that Marlen Nadiradze was General Prosecutor Zura Adeishvili’s classmate at university. However, it is difficult to say, how helpful that might be for Nadiradze. It is more likely that it is the Shida Kartli Governor, Mikheil Kareli, who supports him.

Saba Tsitsikashvili from Gori

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