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Father of Teen Killed in Special Operation Addresses Parliament

By Tea Mariamidze
Wednesday, April 17
Malkhaz Machalikashvili, a father of 19-year-old Temirlan Machalakashvili, who was killed during the special anti-terrorist operation in Pankisi Gorge in December 2017, arrived in parliament on April 16, asking for timely creation of the fact-finding special commission that will investigate the case.

Machalikashvili says that there are a lot of questions regarding the death of his son and the special operation, carried out in Pankisi in late 2017, which need to be properly studied by the parliament.

According to him, the issue of creation of the commission is defined as the 67th issue of the agenda and Machalikashvili demands that the issue be discussed in an accelerated manner.

"The society should know the details of the case and this is why I ask for the creation of the parliamentary commission. I'm sure they will not open the case ... But they have to say why they came to our house that night," the man stressed.

Machalikashvili stated he will not stop his efforts until the case is “properly investigated” and the perpetrators are punished.

“I do not have many expectations but I hope the lawmakers will take into account my request,” he added.

Despite the wish to meet the MPs face-to-face, Machalikashvili could not do it because he became unwell and had to leave the parliament building before the session started.

Public Defender of Georgia, Nino Lomjaria says she supports the creation of the parliamentary commission regarding Machalikashvili case.

The Ombudsman says the creation of an Investigative Commission should be put on the agenda after the Chief Prosecutor will inform the public and Parliament about the details of the case.

"In the nearest future, the Prosecutor General's Office should provide information to the Parliament of Georgia at what stage of the investigation is when they think it will be completed or if they fail to open the case then we should know the basic reasons,” she stressed.

The opposition also demands creation of a temporary investigative commission in the Parliament regarding the case of Temirlan Machalikashvili.

According to Roman Gotsiridze, the chairperson of the United National Movement (UNM) faction, the government does not want to investigate the murder of Machalikashvili.

Therefore, Gotsiridze says the only way to establish the truth is the creation of a temporary investigative commission in the parliament.

European Georgia party also has the same position. Otar Kakhidze, chairman of the parliamentary faction says that the purpose of the December 2017 Pankisi special operation is unknown.

“The bullet of the special operation officer killed a young man and no one has answers today, not even the family, what was the aim of this operation. When the law enforcement system does not answer the existing questions, naturally, there is the need for the creation of a parliamentary investigative commission,” said Kakhidze.

Makhalikashvili's family members had also been demanding compensation for moral damages due to the violation of their deceased son’s presumption of innocence by the State Security Service.

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 wants law enforcers to admit 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.

Asking for the “fair and effective” investigation, Malkhaz Machalikashvili has been holding protest rallies since May 2018.

In addition, Temirlan Machalikashvili’s case was included in the World Report 2019 of Human Rights Watch.