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SOD Attempts to Arrest Judge and Fabricates Case on Trafficking of Kirgiz Girls

18.01.2011

Saba Tsitsikashvili, Gori

A case involving the trafficking of Kirgiz Girls was sent to the European Court of Human Rights from Gori. Zaza Amiridze, who was detained by the Special Operative Department (SOD) pleaded not guilty to the charges. His attorney is Lia Mukhashavria. The Georgian court imposed 12 years of imprisonment on Amiridze which started in December, 2006.

Three Kirgiz girls arrived in Gori after they met Gori resident Ana Mazanashvili at the Vale checkpoint. The police officers showed the three girls up on the bus and asked them to travel to Tbilisi. Ana Mazanashvili got acquainted with them and invited them to Gori and offered them to stay at her place before traveling to their homeland.

The Kirgiz girls stayed in Gori for about one month. Then, according to their testimonies to the SOD, Ana Mazanashvili together with Zaza Amiridze compelled the girls to have sexual intercourse with soldier Vakhtang G and then with other men too.

The girls alleged that their sexual exploitation took place in the Gori based hotel Victoria. This fact has not been confirmed, as the notification issued by the head of the hotel suggests that those people have never been registered in the hotel.

One month later, the relationship between the Kirgiz girls and Ana Mazanashvili became more complicated. Ana Mazanashvili said the girls became familiar with the town in Gori and used to walk around it freely; Mazanashvili did not like their behavior because they used to disappear for several days.

Three years ago, former deputy head of the Shida Kartli regional police Zurab Chabukiani confirmed this fact in his interview with us. “Once, I met Ana Mazanashvili together with those girls. Later, she called me and asked assistance to look for those girls because they had disappeared. I suggested for her to wait a bit because they could appear at any time. If not, I told her she could submit an application to our department,” said Zurab Chabukiani. Indeed, the Kirgiz girls soon appeared.

Afterwards, the girls decided to return to Kirgizstan. Gori resident Ramaz Tsatsiashvili saw them to the railway station where they had to take the Tbilisi-Baku train; he bought tickets for them and sent them to Baku. The frontier police officers detained the girls at the border checkpoint and sent them back. After that, the SOD started an investigation and interrogation of people; the girls alleged that Ana Mazanashvili had locked them at home and she- together with Zaza Amiridze- sexually exploited them.

The SOD arrested both Zaza Amiridze and Ana Mazanashvili. The latter is free today but Zaza Amiridze is serving a 12-year-imprisonment sentence.

Zaza Amiridze: “They knew I was a bailiff at the court. On December 7, 2006 they arrested me. They offered me to bribe Judge Bondo Vatiashvili with 300 USD for any reason. They suggested me to ask him to save the money for me since I was going to a party; they wanted him just to touch the money and it could have been enough for them to blame him. Since I did not accept their offer, they started to blackmail. I know the name of the person who contacted me – Nodari – an employee of the SOD. When they detained me they said the victim was dead and I had killed her. Ani was dead in Turkey. They were intimidating me. They did not allow me to hire an attorney. Finally, they had to allow me to call my cousin who is a lawyer. I met him only several hours after detention.”

It is interesting that only one out of three Kirgiz girls are victims; the other two have witness status. The witnesses stated at the trial that “the victimized Kirgiz girl was personally looking for men; she preferred to move around alone and wanted to earn money; she had made friends with the soldier Vakhtang G; strangers also called her; picked her up by cars and she used to accompany them alone. She did not listen to anybody at all and used to walk alone in the town whenever she wanted; she used to disappear for several days.”

The prosecutor’s office detained the two witnesses for the amended testimony. Six months later, they were released based on the plea-agreement.

Regarding this case, MP Elene Tevdoradze petitioned to the former prosecutor general of Georgia Zurab Adeishvili and informed him that there were no signs of trafficking in the activities of Zaza Amiridze.

It is noteworthy that the attorney of the victim Kirgiz girl Nino Khaindrava was a neighbor of one of the investigators in the case M. Gagoshidze; they lived in the same residential building (Lado Asatiani Street 40, Tbilisi). The court did not try to investigate whether the investigation had any influence over the interpreter. Reportedly, there were some complaints regarding the verification of the testimonies of the Kirgiz witnesses; they complained about incorrect translation in several cases.

Every court shared the position of the victim and now the Strasbourg court will discuss the case.
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