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Father of Killed Terrorism Suspect Summoned for Questioning

By Tea Mariamidze
Thursday, August 16
Georgia’s State Security Service (SSS) has launched an investigation into the statement of Malkhaz Machalikashvili, father of the 19-year-old, who was killed during the anti-terror operation in Pankisi Gorge in December.

The investigation is underway under the Criminal Code of Georgia, article 18/323 part I, which implies an attempt to prepare a terrorist act/threat.

The investigation refers to Machalikashvili’s May 31 statement, made at the protest rally in Tbilisi, when he stated he would revenge for his son’s murder if the justice is not restored and “fair investigation” into the case is not launched.

“They had a specific question about what I meant in my statement, and I answered that it was a statement of a furious father whose son was killed and that I did not remember those words next day. I do not know why they summoned me three months after making this statement,” Machalikashvili stated after he was questioned.

The man says he does not care whether he is arrested or not, telling the persecution against him started when his son was killed.

The lawyer of Machalikashvili, Keti Chutlashvili, who is a lawyer of the NGO Human Rights Education and Monitoring Center (EMC), says that there were no signs of crime in her defendant’s statement.

“The SSS representatives did not mention anything about Machalikashvli’s possible detention or charges. They said they have no more questions for now,” the lawyer told media.

Temirlan Machalikashvili, 19, received a head wound during a special operation in the Pankisi Gorge on 26 December 2017. Georgian law-enforcers claim that Machalikashvili was shot while trying to detonate a grenade. However, the family and relatives say that he was sleeping when law-enforcers shot him without warning.

The father of the deceased young man has several demands. He wants law enforcers to confess that his son was killed by mistake. He also demands his family be granted the status of the victim, adding his son was the victim of someone’s mistake. He calls on the government to hold everyone involved in the operation responsible, adding the authorities are trying to accuse his son of having links with terrorists.