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Changing previous allegations

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Friday, October 28
The father of 23-year-old Giga Shengelia, who was shot dead after an alleged break-in at the Krtsanisi military centre three days ago, says he received answers to all his questions from Defence Ministry staff late on October 26.

Roman Shengelia made the statement one hour after visiting the scene where his son was shot.

He was invited there by the Ministry of Defence in the wake of his statements that he had questions about his son’s death and wished to involve independent experts in the investigation.

Shengelia’s questions were answered by the Deputy Minister of Defence and other representatives of the Ministry with the presence of American instructors.

The man did not specify the content of the questions he asked.

Shengelia, who previously said his son was shot out of the military centre in the back, now stated his son was shot inside the centre and was found outside the base as he was trying to escape.

He also did not confirm the information that his son used to visit the military base before the fatal incident, saying everything he had stated was based on the information provided by his late son’s friends.

Shengelia also said he would refrain from making comments until the investigation was over and was unsure whether to involve an independent expert in the investigation process.

He also said there were no cameras installed in the place where his son was killed.

Georgia’s Ministry of Defence stated on October 23 that three people reportedly tried to break into the Krtsanisi National Military Training Centre, one of the most important military facilities in the country and the place where the NATO-Georgia Joint Training and Evaluation Centre is located.

The Defence Ministry said the attackers were aggressive, did not obey a legal request from a soldier on guard and so the watchman fired in their direction. The guard's actions were fully in line with regulations, said the Ministry.

The late man's family said they did not believe the Ministry’s version and demanded an alternative investigation.

The Ministry said it was ready to let an alternative examination be carried out, and to let the family members of the killed man visit the centre and check the site of the incident.

Georgia’s Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili also commented on the incident, stressing that the Government was ready to let any alternative investigation review the case.

The PM stressed the guard who shot Shengelia had acted in line with the law.

Analysts say there are various question marks over the case that must be answered. The major question being how well protected the military centre area was.