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“How My Daughter Turned Up in Malaysia With Two Bags of Drugs!” The Mother of Babutsa Gordadze Wonders

November 4, 2010
Marika Vacharadze, Samtredia

The death penalty might be imposed on two Georgian women for spreading drugs in Malaysia. The possible main suspect in this crime disappeared after  Malaysian law enforcement bodies suspected him. The suspect, who took the two Georgian women to Turkey to work in a Jeans Shop, has yet to be found.

Reportedly, Giorgi Davitiani took his wife – Babutsa Gordadze and one other woman to Istanbul to work as dustmen in a jeans factory. This version of the story was told by the family members of Babutsa Gordadze. They said that Davitiani has been traveling to Turkey for many years where he works; he was financially assisting his family in Georgia.  In order to further improve their economic conditions, he decided to take Babutsa Gordadze and the other   woman to Turkey. Initially, Giorgi Davitiani went to Istanbul to prepare jobs for the women. However, once the women arrived in Turkey they faced a completely different situation.

Babutsa Gordadze comes from Samtredia district. Her mother Meri Gordadze stated in her interview with the Human Rights Center that: “On Tuesday, October 27, my son-in-law Giorgi Davitiani called my elder daughter at 5:00 pm and told her: your sister wanted to work in Turkey and came here; but now she has been crying for three days. Now she will relax for a while and I will also be without her. . He spoke with the child too; said good bye to her and then cut line. My son-in-law called me on Thursday at 9:00 pm and told me: I cannot get through to Babutsa; her phone is unavailable and I am concerned. The boy, who took them, also does not answer his phone calls. I then asked him who the boy was that took my daughter away.  He replied that he was his friend and that he had to take the women to the family where they were going to work. I asked him to visit the family if he knew the address.   He told me he knew the address as well as the car number where my daughter sat before her departure. Finally, he calmed me down. Do not worry, he said. I will find out everything.

I was also calling my daughter but could not get through. Giorgi explained to me that maybe the family hostess did not allow them to switch on the phone. On Friday, I learned about the detention of my daughter on TV. I immediately called my son-in-law but he did not answer. Later my elder daughter spoke with him and said that there was a report about the detention of Babutsa on the television. Afterwards, he called me and said that it was just our imagination and that my daughter was ok. However, several hours later he called back and said he had learned from the internet about Babutsa’s detention. I asked him to come back to Georgia and resolve the problem with us together. He promised to return in two days. The next day he called me and asked – what did you report to the television? I asked him – how did my daughter turn up in Malaysia with two bags of narcotics?! He did not reply to me and hung up the telephone. .

Babutsa Gordadze and Giorgi Davitiani got married three years ago and they have one child. Giorgi Davitiani has served prison-terms three times.  He was convicted for illegal purchase-possession of a narcotic substance. The married couple lived in Tbilisi for two years. Darejan Kokhtashvili and Babutsa Gordadze worked in a shop in Tbilisi together.

“My daughter has never been abroad. This was the first time she had crossed the border. I am surprised she even went to Malaysia, and what did she want with drugs?! She did not even want to travel to Turkey but her husband had suggested she go there. My daughter does not know Turkish or the Russian language. However, her husband speaks Turkish and Russian quite well; he can even speak English. I am completely sure that my daughter did not know what she had in the bag… and if she did know,   let them kill her,” Meri Gordadze said.

The law enforcement officers have one question to the detainees – did they know that they had narcotics in the bags or did they become victims of the narcomafia accidentally?

The embassy of Ukraine in Malaysia represents Georgians abroad and negotiates with local law enforcement bodies on their behalf. . The detainees have already made testimonies to the law enforcement bodies. Several days ago the sister of Babutsa Gordadze arrived at the Foreign Ministry of Georgia and requested their assistance.

The crime committed by the Georgian women is punishable by the death penalty in Malaysia. About 50 people have been convicted and sentenced to the death penalty Malaysia since 2009; several of them are foreigners. However, according to local legislation, these sentences are usually carried out 5 or 6 years later. They use this period for negotiations; so, very often the death sentence is changed.

The Public Defender of Georgia also assists Georgian citizens arrested in Malaysia. Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Ombudsman Union of Asia and Human Rights Commission of Malaysia are the four international organizations whom the Georgian ombudsman appealed to. Amnesty International has already responded to Giorgi Tughushi’s petition. The organization has an office in Malaysia. These organizations will try to provide the Georgian detainees with legal aid. They will also attend the trials and observe whether their rights are breached or not.