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„Special Show” in Kutaisi

dakavebebi_.gifThe society got furious about special operation carried out by the Department of Constitutional Security in Kutaisi last week. Criminal case was launched against detainees and the case consists of two parts. 24 employees of the Kutaisi Local Self-government, were accused for issuing and using fraudulent documents and for appropriation of 600 000 lari from the state budget.

“Those people who, we are detained now have robbed Georgia from 600 000 lari. But fortunately that money returned to the population and pensions will be distributed,” said Ioseb Tofuridze, Deputy Head of the Department of the Constitutional Security at special meeting in the hall of Imereti Regional Administrative Board. Thirty minutes later, officers from the department officially arrested the accused ranking officials.  

In fact, the information about planned special operation was announced in Kutaisi a day before. On July 1, employees of the Kutaisi Local Self-government were interrogated at the Western Georgia’s Department of the Constitutional Security. According to the spread information, some of them were detained on that day. However, on July 2, at 2:00 PM the Kutaisi population witnessed how the accused were kicked out from the building of Administrative Board and then pushed into mini buses.

The society acquired feeling of protest and their assessment regarding the situation is negative. “By day-time more than twenty men were forced out of the building and pushed into cars. I have never seen so many policemen in my life. The children also got anxious; they were looking around in fear. Is it a special operation? It is a show and the government has already been trained in planning similar performances. Hence they will arrange even worse shows,” said seventy-two-year-old retired person, who personally witnessed the incident.

Sozar Subari, Public Defender, applied to the Prosecutor General to find out the details of the special operation. The Ombudsman blames the officers of the Department of the Constitutional Security for abusing their power and demands to estimate the truth.

Relatives of the detainees are also eager to find out the truth. Family member of one of the detainees, who preferred to keep his name anonymous, said in his conversation with the Human Rights Center’s Kutaisi office: “Several hours before the special operation my brother sent text message to us and informed us that he was arrested in Borjomi. Thus, it can prove that the special operation was badly arranged show to deceive people.”

Representatives of the Georgian Young Lawyers Association’s Kutaisi Branch state that many ordinary people have applied to them regarding the situation besides the relatives of detainees. They qualify the special operation as a violation of human rights.

“This incident is investigated. If it is proved that those people were detained twice, it means that the human rights were blatantly violated. We are lawyers and we should follow the law ourselves in order to teach others to follow it,” said Giorgi Chikaberidze, lawyer for the Georgian Young Lawyers Association’s Kutaisi office. He defends the interests of one of the detainees.

“My client does not plead guilty. I will meet him tomorrow. Only after that I will find out how I should protect him,” said Chikaberidze.

His client, like other 23 detainees, is in Kutais Detention Setting # 2. On July 3 the judge of the Kutaisi Civil Court did not satisfy the mediation of lawyers on releasing their clients under bail.

Shorena Kakabadze, Kutaisi

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