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Eka Beselia: “Batumi City Court Discusses My Case and Not of My Son or My Brother”

Maka Malakmadze, Batumi

“It is politically motivated court proceeding,” the people who attended the trial on the case of Eka Beselia’s son and brother assessed the process negatively. According to the investigation, they are accused in insulting and physical assault of person and in the resistance to the police. Victim Davit Japaridze did not attend the trial.

The assembly of people in front of the Batumi city court turned into a protest rally. They requested release of Eka Beselia’s son and brother.

On November 18, Judge Jemal Kiknadze, magister at the Kobuleti district court held a trial on the case of Rati Milorava, son of Eka Beselia and on Sergo Beselia, brother of Eka Beselia; the latter is a leader of the “Movement for the United Georgia”. Lawyer Eka Beselia represents her son at the court. “In fact, it is politically motivated proceeding. The court is not discussing the case of my juvenile son and brother; they try to find out whether I will stop political activities or not; whether I will continue my fight in future or not. If somebody has illusion that the court is discussing a crime, it is complete nonsense. I would like to say that I have made my choice and will always fight against political persecution and terror in Georgia.”

Lili Gelashvili, the lawyer: “Today we petitioned to the court to interrogate main witnesses of the incident. If the court claims to be impartial and needs to have real picture of the incident, it should definitely interrogate witnesses. We offered them to interrogate witnesses who were sitting at the same table during the incident; Sergo Beselia and Rati Milorava had joined them that evening.”

Lawyer Lili Gelashvili stated there are many shortcomings in case materials. Detainees were being recognized and interrogate from 3:00 am to 5:00 am that contradicts the law. It must be noted, that despite the refusal of the detainees, public attorney Roin Salukvadze represented them initially.

“At the trial, where the detainees were sentenced to the imprisonment, the prosecutor’s office handed the decision written in advance to the judge according to which Sergo Beselia was to be sentenced to pretrial detention. The main fragment is removed from the testimonies which prove the innocence of the detainees,” said Eka Beselia.

At the trial, the judge satisfied the solicitation to interrogate only several witnesses offered by the defense side.

Eka Beselia spoke about other violations during the court proceeding too: “We left the pretrial detention setting in the evening and next morning we found out that the detainees were interrogated at 3:00 am that night.”

Eka Beselia’s son Rati Melorava was bailed with 3 000 GEL and her brother Sergo Beselia was sentenced to two-month pretrial detention. The defense side appealed against the court decision at Kutaisi Appeal Court but the latter did not discuss the appeal. The attorneys will appeal to the European Human Rights Court and will send the case on Rati Milorava and Sergo Beselia to Strasbourg as an example of political persecution. Batumi City Court has scheduled next trial on November 25.

Trial in the Court Room

The courtroom was overcrowded; there were plenty of escort officers and bailiffs in the court room. Judge Jemal Kiknadze demanded one of the relatives of the detainee to leave the room because he made a replica.

Judge satisfied only several solicitations of the defense side. He used to take a break for 15-20 minutes to consider the solicitations.

The judge satisfied the solicitations of the defense side on audio-recording of the trial and interrogating main witnesses of the incident. However, the judge did not satisfy their solicitation on video-recording of the trial and on interrogation of prosecutor Giorgi Davitashvili, investigator and public attorney who were initially involved in the case.

What Happened in Café “Elza”

According to the official information of the MIA, Kobuleti district policemen arrested Rati Milorava, Valeri Kirvalidze, Sergo Beselia and Roin Tsagareli. On August 19, 2009 they insulted and physically assaulted Davit Japaridze. The victim stated that the quarrel started in the café “Elza” where his wife and he were insulted; the incident turned into a serious quarrel after what the personnel of the café called patrol policemen. The suspected resisted the policemen during detention and insulted and physically assaulted them.

Eka Beselia has different version of the incident.”People sitting at the next table called and asked Rati to meet them. The incident happened 15-20 minutes later between different people; my brother tried to calm them down in order to avoid serious quarrel. Finally, the personnel of the café called police that is very strange; generally, arguing between several people could not be so noisy to hear it in the outside when loud music is playing; particularly in the evening. They called police who detained four people. My brother was among them whom the police knew very well after his participation in protest rallies. My son saw detention of my brother and tried to help him; finally he was also arrested. If the police arrests people for such a slight incidents, everybody should be in prison then! By the way, we have witnessed serious quarrels of MPs during sessions in the parliament.”

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