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Prisoner Woman, Who Is Ill with Tuberculosis, Has Her Imprisonment Term Prolonged on the Ground of Provocation

13.08.2007
Soreb.jpgPrisoner Shorena Gegelishvili, who is ill with tuberculosis, was to be released on August 8.  But several days ago she was sentenced to two-month pre-trial detention and nobody interrogated her regarding the fact. Judge and her assistant are on holiday and Nestan Londaridze, lawyer for Human Rights Center (HRIDC), who protects Gegelishvili’s interests, cannot study the case properly. The prisoner was on a hunger strike for several days in protest but because of health problems she was obliged to stop the protest today.

“On August 10 Prosecutor Natia Songhulashvili met Shorena because of hunger strike and to find out prisoner’s concrete demands. The prosecutor calmed Shorena down and advised to demand the court to interrogate witnesses. She also informed the condemned that the hearing will be held in September,” said Nestan Londaridze.

Prosecutor Natia Songhulashvili: “Today I met Shorena Gegelashvili and she stopped hunger strike. Shorena does not have any complaints regarding investigation.”

However, Shorena Gegelishvili told the lawyer for the Human Rights Center that she stopped hunger strike because of poor health.

Nearly 11 months ago, Shorena Gegelishvili took 50 lari from her own account to take medical examination and it caused serious problems for her. Her aunt transferred the money on Shorena’s plastic card based on official application and then Shorena used the money to have an x-ray and other medical examinations. Prisoner was x-rayed in the presence of doctor and bailiffs and paid twenty lari for it. Inmate was x-rayed on Saturday and jail accountant did not work on that day, so Shorena could not return remained thirty lari to bank. Gegelishvili claimed that jail administration, director and doctor-in-chief were informed about it.  However, they carried out survey in the prison and found money on her.

On August 3 Shorena Gegelashvili received bill of particulars by mail which stated that at unidentified time in unidentified circumstances unidentified person gave her thirty lari.

Mediko Alania, director of the jail said that she knew that Shorena was to take the money from her account however she had no information that some money remained on prisoner. “How could I know that? It was crime.”

As investigator Shota Darchia said he does not exactly remember who was interrogated in this particular case because he had received those materials from previous investigator. “I work on 84 cases now and how do you think, should I remember everybody’s name?”

Journalist: Have you interrogated the accused herself?
Shota Darchia: No I have not. When I entered the room she fainted and I could not wait for her for a long time.

J: Did you send the case to court without having interrogated the accused?
Sh. T. Yes I did. 

J. Do you have similar right according to the legislation?

Sh. T. Of course I do. We have right to send the case to the court without interrogating the accused.

J: Can you name the exact article?

Sh. T. You know, a clever man informed me about that law and I acted according to it.

J: And what did exactly that man say?

Sh. T. You know, there is beautiful red book with the title Criminal Procedure Code, you should read it and you will find answer to your question there (style of the speech is not changed).

As the investigator advised, the journalist read “the beautiful red book” where there was Article # 311-Interrogation of an Accused. It did not state that the investigator can send the case to the court without interrogating the accused.

Nestan Londaridze said that Shorena had not refused to make a testimony:

“Unfortunately, Shorena applied to us eleven months later and we could not involve the case on time. As far as I know, there are no testimonies made by either accused or witnesses in the case materials. Only one prisoner, Sofio Kobakhidze was interrogated. Shota Darchia said that Shorena Gegelishvili fainted when he was going to ask question to her and he could not interrogate her. However, the investigator did not wait for her recovery. As Shorena claimed to me she had not refused to make a testimony she simply stopped speaking because investigator interrupted her. Drachia said that her testimony could change nothing. Consequently, the prisoner fainted and could not go on speaking. It must also be pointed out that later Shorena demanded to meet the investigator but in vain,” said Londaridze.

Nestan Londaridze said that Judge Nino Sandodze and her assistant Shalva Kakauridze are on holiday and could not study the case materials. So she does not have any more information. “According to my information, they are coming back on September 3. So I will not manage to read the materials until they return. The problem is that Shorena is ill with tuberculosis and needs immediate treatment. However, she was sentenced to two-months-pretrial detention and she went on a hunger-strike to protest the court decision. It is quite obvious what will be the result because of her poor health,” said the defender of the accused.

According to Nestan Londaridze, the Bill of Particulars stated that “In prison, Shorena Gegelishvili decided to hide prohibited thing. In order to fulfill her intention she got hold of thirty lari from unidentified person at unidentified time and in unidentified circumstances.”

The lawyer for Human Rights Center said that the statement from the Bill of Particular is not right. Shorena Gegelishvili had warned the director of the jail, Mediko Alania that she had taken money from bank. “As for the money, jail doctor Marina Pikashvili had returned the money as a change to her. Shorena could not return the money back to bank because it was Saturday and accountant did not work. Anyway, the prisoner had warned the jail administration about the delay. In addition to that Shorena Gegelishvili warned representative of the Penitentiary Department and jail regime inspector, Ramaz Gabisonia, that she had thirty lari on her when they entered the cell to check inmates. However, as you have already seen it did not make any changes in case.”

Lawyers state that the case was already sent to the court and it will be discussed after the judge returns back. Shorena Gegelishvili’s health condition is seriously grave at the moment. She has stopped hunger strike for a short time.

Nino Tarkhnishvili 

 

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2011-11-28 22:12
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