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Family of Late Terrorism Suspect Sues against Georgia’s State Security Service

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Tuesday, April 24
The family of a deceased terrorism suspect Temirlan Machalikashvili has filed a lawsuit against the State Security Service, accusing the body of violating the innocence presumption towards the killed 19-year-old and demands a compensation for moral damage.

The family says after the December 26, 2017 anti-terrorist rally in the country’s Muslim-populated Pankisi Gorge the SSS press office named Machikashvili and four others as terrorists, “without providing any evidence.”

Malkhaz Machalikashvili, father of Temirlan Machalikashvili, also stated that his family experienced pressure from the deputy head of the State Security Service Ioseb Gogashvili.

“Gogashvili arrived to our house shortly after the special operation, with the family photos of a Georgian special unit serviceman killed during the previous, November raid in Tbilisi, demanding from us to tell the ‘truth’, saying that we had links with terrorists,” Machalikashvili said.

Gogashvili dismissed the statement and said that he never appeared in Pankisi after the raid.

Temirlan Machalikashvili died on January 10, 2018 from the severe head injury he received during the December raid.

The Pankisi raid came after the large-scale anti-terrorist operation in Tbilisi on November 21-22, which saw Islamic State terrorist Ahmed Chatayev and his two accomplices killed and one detained.

One Georgian special unit serviceman Ivane Goloshvili was killed and several others were injured during the raid.

Georgia’s State Security Service claims Chatayev and his group planned attacks on diplomats in Turkey and Georgia.

The December raid in Pankisi aimed at detaining the people who supported Chatayev to come to Georgia, buy weapons and find an accommodation, security officials stated.

During the Pankisi raid Machalikashvili was wounded and four others were detained for alleged support of terrorism, envisaging 17-20 years in prison or life imprisonment.

Machalikashvili family is sure Temirlan was killed mistakenly and intends to address the European Court of Human Rights.

The family has also announced a rally in Tbilisi to demand the punishment of top state security officials who planned and carried out the December raid in Pankisi.