On April 8, Human Rights Center presented statement of prisoner Teimuraz Gvaradze to media in the press-club of the Prime Time. Gvaradze was member of Ex-president Mikheil Saakashvili’s security guard and serves his imprisonment term in Gldani Prison # 8.
Director of Human Rights Center Aleko Tskitishvili said prisoner Teimuraz Gvaradze applied to the Center for legal aid. “In his conversation to the Human Rights Center’s lawyer Nestan Londaridze, convict Gvaradze said he was professional sniper and from 2004 was member of President Mikheil Saakashvili’s security guard. In August 2008 Gavaradze participated in the military operations without president’s permission for what he was ruthlessly tortured in the building of the Special Operation Department of MIA. Later on, he was officially arrested and convicted for deserting.”
Aleko Tskitishvili said Gvaradze possesses significant information about Lapankuri special operation. “In his conversation with the Center’s lawyer, the convicted person said in summer of 2012 three persons visited him in prison and asked participation in the special operation in Pankisi Gorge. The prisoner was clarified that several terrorists had captured three men in Pankisi Gorge and had ammunition for Dagestan citizens. Teimuraz Gvaradze was asked to liquidate terrorists during exchange of gunfire. After the special operation Gvaradze was taken back to the penitentiary establishment. Teimuraz Gvaradze claims he personally observed ongoing Lapankuri special operation and as a witness can give significant information to the investigation. However, Prosecutor’s Office has not contacted him so far.”
He told Human Rights Center’s lawyer Nestan Londaridze that officers of the special unit of the MIA Solomon Tsiklauri and Archil Chokheli were not killed during exchange of gunfire that contradicts official version of the investigation. Ministry of Internal Affairs named the special operation near Lapankuri village on August 28, 2012 as counter-terrorist operation. According to official information, armed group from Dagestan had crossed Georgian border and captured local young people. As a result of the special operation, two MIA officers and military doctor were killed; five Georgian special unit officers were wounded; 11 paramilitaries were liquidated.
“On November 15, 2012 Teimuraz Gvaradze was released from imprisonment. He said after release he was under permanent oppression because he had significant information and was serious threat for certain people. In May 2013, Teimuraz Gvaradze was repeatedly arrested for thievery of a cow. He claims he was tortured to make confession statement about the crime which he had not committed. The Court sentenced him to five-year imprisonment under Article 177 of the Criminal Code of Georgia,” lawyer Nestan Londaridze said.
Teimuraz Gvaradze claims he possesses significant information about Zurab Zhvania’s death fact.
Human Rights Center addresses to the Chief Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia to question Teimuraz Gvaradze together with his lawyer and to check the facts and circumstances the convicted person is speaking about. In addition to that, torture and inhuman treatment facts against the prisoner shall be investigated and his safety shall be guaranteed as his life is in danger as a witness.