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Prosecutor’s Office Failed to Consider Several Circumstances

01.03.2010
Shorena Kakabadze, Kutaisi

Avtandil Darsavelidze was sent to prison for 4 years and Elguja Gabadadze for 3 years and 6 months; Tengiz Darakhvelidze will spend 2 years in prison – this verdict was passed on the explosion of Memorial to Victory by Kutaisi City Court. Besides that, each of them were fined with 5 000 GEL. The verdict shall be appealed at Appeal Court – decided the attorneys of the convicted.

The criminal case was launched on the incident several hours after it happened (December 19, 2009). Law enforcement officers initially arrested head of Sakpetkmretsvi Ltd” Avtandil Darsavelidze and later two more officials of the organization – Elguja Gabadadze and Tengiz Darakhvelidze. Tbilisi City Court imposed two-month pretrial imprisonment on them.

On January 26, 2010 Kutaisi City Court started case discussion. According to bill of particulars, representatives of the Sakpetkmretsvi Avtandil Darsavelidze, Elguja Gabadadze and Tengiz Darakhvelidze were accused in breaching security norms during implemented work. The accused do not plead guilty and state the accident which resulted into the death of mother and child during the explosion was caused by breached technical norms. The residents of the surrounding territory of the Memorial still claim that the explosion was scheduled for December 21 instead December 19.

“We were warned to get ready for December 21. Policemen warned us to leave our houses by that time. However, everything happened in a hurry and only in the morning of December 19 we learned that they were going to explode the memorial in several hours. The police calmed down us that nothing was dangerous if we left the surrounding area and in the houses. The dead mother and child were standing in the so-called safe place that was far from the monument. However, they died because of explosion. So, the police had to pay more attention to the locals,” said resident of the surrounding area Lali Gogava.
  
Despite the story of the woman (her story is similar to the stories of other local inhabitants) nobody accuses the police and local government at all. However, people loudly speak in Kutaisi that former Imereti regional governor Mikheil Chogovadze ordered to explode the Memorial.

Testimony of the accused Darsavelidze confirms the same. The head of Sakpetkmretsvi clarified that Chogovadze was personally supervising the explosion process; he had ordered to explode the monument on December 21 but finally they decided on December 17 to change the date. Hurrying up the process was resulted into the accident.

Although law enforcement officers detained the representatives of the Sakpetkmretsvi several days after the accident and Imereti regional governor was resigned soon, the society still requested corresponding reaction on the fact. NGOs and opposition parties think that not only implementers of the explosion shall be punished for the tragedy but political decision-makers too because the explosion started due to the resolution of the government of Georgia issued on December 9, 2009. Prime-Minister Nika Gilauri signed the resolution. Prosecutor’s office fails to consider several circumstances and blames the Ltd into the tragedy.

Besides that, one of the accused said, according to the agreement signed between the Tbilisi based Ltd Sakpetkmretsvi and Kutaisi City Hall the later was responsible for the security. The government ordered the police to preserve security norms. 

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