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Detainee’s Family Applied to Human Rights Center For Help

May 22, 2012

Tamta Beliashvili

Family members of Ivane Ergemlidze applied to the Human Rights Center for help. The case is about famous incident which occurred in December of 2011 – Ergemlidze assaulted the son of the MP Giorgi Tsagareishvili. There are still many question marks with regard to this case.

Ivane Ergemlidze has a wife and two under-age children. He has been in Gldani pre-trial detention premise for five months already. His family members believe he has already served term adequate to the crime he has committed and request the MP Giorgi Tsagareishvili to apologize to them for public slander and humiliation.

At 00.30 am on December 14, 2011 Ivane Ergemlidze physically assaulted Zurab Tsagereishvili, son of MP Giorgi Tsagareishvili, member of the parliamentary fraction Union for Justice and Georgian Dream. MP Giorgi Tsagareishvili evaluated the fact as political revenge. He said he would publicly apologize for his statement if he is mistaken and the government will prove the opposite.

Ivane Ergemlidze’s parents told the Human Rights Center that they are free of political affiliations and the incident occurred based on personal controversy. They said the MP Giorgi Tsagareishvili is also convinced that it was not politically motivated incident but Ivane Ergemlidze is still in pre-trial detention premise and the politician is not going to apologize.

The controversy between the young people started in the Restaurant HB. The family members of Ivane Ergemlidze allege those two young men did not know each other beforehand. Zurab Tsagareishvili and his friends were celebrating a birthday of their friend. The relatives state the testimonies of the HB personnel showed that Zurab Tsagareishvili and his companions were drunk and acted impolitely.

Ivane Ergemlidze’s wife Ana Kajaia told the Human Rights Center that a friend of Zurab Tsagareishvili was winking at Ivane Ergemlidze from his table; the latter requested him clarification for his strange behavior and he replied: “I want to wink at you, and that is all!” At the same time, Giorgi Tsagareishvili’s son also joined their conversation. Ivane Ergemlidze suggested them to return to their table but, as Ergenlidze’s family members alleged, Zurab Tsagareishvili rudely replied to him. Finally, Ivane Ergemlidze got angry and left the restaurant in order not to cause disorder in the building. He decided to follow Zurab Tsagereishvili and revenge him. Ivane Ergemlidze followed him by his friend’s car. The friends guessed his intention and followed him too. Media spread completely different story about the incident. They alleged people were waiting for the MP’s son at the entrance to their house to beat him, etc. Watch-cameras are installed on both sides of the entrance to MP Giorgi Tsagareishvili’s house and Ivane Ergemlidze’s relatives claim it is easy to estimate the truth based on video-footage.

Mother and sister of the detainee Tinatin and Eka Ergemlidzes do not justify the violence but they claim that the incident did not have any political motives. Simultaneously, the incident was provoked by the victim himself. The detainee’s family requests MP Giorgi Tsagareishvili to apologize for slander and to spread it by all media outlets as he already did when accusing Ivane Ergemlidze to be a “zonder” [person hired to assault people with different opinion].

According to the Ergemlidzes, one of the motives for MP Giorgi Tsagareishvili to evaluate the incident as politically motivated one is 2007-2009 working experience of the detainee.  Ivane Ergemlidze worked for the Georgian Counter-Intelligence Service. The politician searched the information about the detainee and concluded that it was political revenge.

Ivane Ergemlidze was detained on December 17, 2011 for the crime envisaged by Article 239 Part II –“a” of the Criminal Code of Georgia.

The Human Rights Center got in touch with MP Giorgi Tsagareishvili. He told the journalist that the situation is so obscure that he still doubts about political motive. The MP said the court is discussing the case and hopes the truth will be soon estimated.

The Human Rights Center tried to get in touch with Zurab Tsagareishvili but he refused to talk about the issue.

Ivane Ergemlidze’s family members believe maybe it is advantageous for MP Giorgi Tsagareishvili to declare the incident to be a political revenge for his political goals or ambitions. The relatives claim the incident occurred on personal controversy and nobody shall manipulate with it.