Public Defender about Kimeridze’s Case
Georgian Public Defender’s Office released a statement about the death of Solomon Kimeridze in the Khashuri district police office on February 27. The Ombudsman’s Statement is as follows:
“At night to February 28, 2012 the members of the Prevention and Monitoring Department of the Georgian Public Defender’s Office visited the Khashuri District Police Office regarding the death fact of Solomon Kimeridze in the police office on February 27. According to the statement of the Georgian Interior Ministry, S. Kimeridze fell over the handrail in the police station which resulted into his death. The representatives of the Public Defender examined the place of accident, conversed with the deputy head of the police station Avtandil Samsonidze and other police officers.
A.Samsonidze stated that in the afternoon of February 27, 2012 the Khashuri district police officers brought Solomon Kimeridze to the Khashuri district police station in the frame of ongoing investigation of the robbery case. The police had information that Solomon Kimeridze had stolen nickel teapot and aluminum saucepan from Tamaz Gamgonidze’s house, a resident of Kvishkheti village. Since Kimeridze was not accused of the robbery and police did not arrest him, he was not registered in the registry of detainees in Khashuri district police station.
According to the police officers’ clarifications, Kimeridze was interrogated on the third floor of the station. Afterwards, at about 5:25pm he was led downstairs on the second floor because the police officers intended to interrogate the victim of the robbery. While going downstairs from the third floor to the second floor of the police station, accused Solomon Kimeridze fell over the handrail into a foyer of the police station’s first floor. Deputy Head of the police station said that police officers Malkhaz Tsikhelashvili was going in front of Kimeridze. Neither he nor other officers saw Kimeridze fall over. Though, they assumed Kimeridze lost balance because of his height and weight and fell over the handrail.
The ambulance took Kimeridze to the Khashuri district hospital but unfortunately, he died there several hours later. Avtandil Samsonadze said the Shida Kartli and Mtskheta-Mtianeti Regional Prosecutor’s Office has already started investigation; the forensic expertise was conducted on the night to February 28l; the police officers were also interrogated.
In order to clarify additional details, the Public Defender’s Office petitioned to the Shida Kartli and Mtskheta-Mtianeti Regional Prosecutor’s Office and requested information about ongoing investigation on Kimeridze’s death fact. Particularly, the Ombudsman requested information who and when reported them about the accident and under which article of the criminal code the investigation was launched and whether forensic expertise was conducted or not.
Reportedly, Kimeridze received injuries incompliant with life when he was under control of police officers. In accordance to the case law of the European Court, existence of similar injuries breeds presumption that the person might have become subject of inhuman or cruel treatment. In this case, the state is responsible to carry out thorough and impartial investigation and present convincing explanation of the causes of injuries. Thus, we petition to investigation body to conduct complete, thorough and impartial investigation and estimate real reasons of Kimeridze’s death and find out whether he was subjected to inhuman or cruel treatment.
Simultaneously, we call on the Shida Kartli and Mtskheta-Mtianeti regional prosecutor’s office to focus on the fact that Solomon Kimeridze was brought to the Khashuri district police station without all procedural status. He was not accused; he was not recorded as a detainee in the documents but our information proves that his freedom was restricted.”