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HRC Requests Investigation into Alleged Fact of Oppression on the Witness

23.04.2018

 
Human Rights Center is alarmed with the recent developments with regard to the murder case of two minors in Khorava Street, Tbilisi. 

Human Rights Center is defending the interests of Davit Salaridze’s family, who was killed during the physical controversy between high-school students in Khorava Street, Tbilisi on December 1, 2017. 

The court hearings against the suspects in the murder case are closed that disables the society to receive full information about the court process.

Recently, it has become sort of established practice that trials into so-called high profile cases are closed or the parties are obliged to sign non-disclosure agreements, thus they cannot speak about the case details. In similar situation, media receives information from rumors and disseminates them that cause diverse reactions in the society.

Unlike other high-profile cases this process was automatically closed because the suspects are underage persons and it is required under the Law of Georgia on Juvenile Justice. The existing situation excludes effective public control over the case.

Recently, media reported that witness M.K, who was interrogated in connection with the Khorava Street Case, became subject of oppression from the side of the former senior official of the prosecutor’s office Mirza Subeliani. Media reported based on the confidential source of information, that M.K substantially changed his testimony, which he had given to the preliminary investigation, after the former prosecutor Mirza Subeliani visited him at home and rebuked for the altered testimony. Subeliani arrived at M.K’s family together with two prosecutors and demanded him to again change his testimony at the next trial, which was scheduled on April 13. 

The victim’s side and the defense advocates confirm that chief witness into the case altered his initial testimony during the trial and started speaking about the oppression on him and his family members, including physical intimidation. Afterwards, he again changed his testimony at the April 13 hearing.

The court proceedings show that investigative body, for unidentified reasons, did not effectively and impartially investigate the case and assigned insufficiently investigated case to the court. It results into altered testimonies during the trials, though the prosecutor’s office tries to explain it as additional clarifications into initial testimonies. These circumstances demonstrate obscurity of the witness’ testimonies and causes mistrust of the victim side and general society towards the process.

HRC appeals the chief prosecutor’s office to promptly investigate who and how tried to oppress the chief witness into the case.

Human Rights Center 

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