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Zugdidi Police Brutally Beats and Frames Suspect on Weapon Charge

Nana Pazhava, Zugdidi

On June 20 at 4:00 AM in the village of Kakhati police officers from Zugdidi department arrested Ruslan Pertaia in the family of one of his friends. Zugdidi district police department then blamed him of having resisted law enforcers in addition to the illegal procession, purchase and carrying of a banned firearm.  The Attorney of the accused police officers beat Pertaia during the detention and when he was locked up in the pre-trial detention isolator cell.

Marine Guguchia, the mother, is carrying about the jeans of her beaten son in bag and tells journalists, representatives of the public defender’s office, and who is willing to listen that she wants to leave the clothes in the Chancellery of the Georgian President. The trousers of Ruslan Pertaia still are bloody and their stains tell everything. He sent the trousers to her mother from Kutaisi Prison # 2. There are also blood stains in the Zugdidi Police Department as well. However, the accused is afraid to tell the exact place where the stains can be found out of fear. Such evidence could put his health and well-being in harms way. There was enough spilled blood from his brutal beating where he was able to write his initials with his own blood in the Zugdidi isolator cell.

On the day of detention, police took the suspect to Zugdidi Central Hospital. After the first medical aid provided Pertaiai was placed in the hospital in critical condition. However, since the information about his beating is not in the public eye, the police then transported him to Kutaisi Prison # 2 instead of keeping him in Zugdidi’s Prison # 4, which is usually the case.

Marine Guguchia only learned about the incident from some of her neighbors. “My neighbors had accidentally witnessed how Ruslan had been taken to hospital for emergency medical assistance. He had been severely beaten and his medical condition was life threatening. He had already been taken back to the isolator cell by the time that we and other family members were able to arrive at hospital. It was not until the second time, when I saw my son in the court (when he sentenced to prison), was I able to fully understand the extent of his actual injuries.  I immediately noticed his bloody clothes, bruises about his eyes and the throat area.”

Tandila Jologua, the attorney of the accused, stated that Ruslan Pertaia did not plead guilty and now complains about constant harassment from the police.

Tandila Jologua: “I visited the accused in Kutaisi Prison # 2 on June 24. He felt bad; his kidney was injured as a result of the beating; supposedly he had brain concussion because he has been feeling sick ever since that time. My client has many bruises on his face and about the throat areas. As for automatic gun and hand grenade, Pertaia claimed that policemen planted them in his bed while he was sleeping.”

Pertaia woke up at the shouting of police and he found himself holding a weapon in his hands. He made the statement at the trial but he was sentenced to two-month-pretrial imprisonment. He mentioned the names of those police officers who beat him: Ruslan Shamakhia, deputy head of Zugdidi Police Department and Irakli Akhalaia, an officer from the criminal police division.

The attorney has already appealed to the court and requested a forensic investigation but it has not been conducted yet. Zugdidi Police Department launched criminal persecution against Ruslan Pertaiai under Article 236, part I and II and Article 353, part I.

The police also arrested the head of the family where Pertaia was detained. Akobia was accused of the illegal storage, purchase and carrying of a weapon. He is now confined in Zugdidi Prison # 4.

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