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Prosecutorís Office opens beating case of former MP

By Tatia Megeneishvili
Friday, April 25
The Prosecutorís Office of Georgia has recently opened a criminal case in the matter of the beating and damage to the health of former MP Valeri Gelashvili in 2005.

According to the Prosecutorís Office, today Erekle Kodua, former Director of the Special Operations Department under the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia and Gia Siradze, the head of one of the offices of the department, have been charged in absentia for ordering the beating of Gelashvili and theft of his firearm.

According to the Prosecutorís Office, the investigation cleared that on the June 29, 2005 an interview with Gelashvili was published in the newspaper Rezonansi. In the article, he spoke about the details of his personal life and the construction of the residence of the then President Mikheil Saakashvili. In response to this, Kodua planned and organized the beating and theft of Gelashvili. In addition, Kodua ordered Siradze to guide the persons participating in the crime. According to the plan adopted by Kodua, members of the Special Operations Department were to severely beat Gelashvili and obtain all his possessions and documents that were with him and in his car. (People in Georgia keep asking if then president of Georgia Michael Saakashvili knew about this plan?)

On July 14, 2005, according to the preliminarily defined plan, fighters of the Special Operations Department blocked the car driven by Gelashvili, running on the left embankment of the Mtkvari River and as a result, attacked Gelashvili and accompanied persons. As ordered by Kodua and guided by Siradze, the fighters forced Gelashvili and his accompanied people out of the vehicle and immediately started to beat them severely. They also beat a member of his security, Malkhaz Tskhakaia.

In addition, the special forces illegally misappropriated Gelashviliís Heckler Koch firearm under his legal possession. They also stole various items from Gelashviliís car.

Following the criminal attack organized by Kodua, Gealshvili received a brain injury, multiple fractures of facial bones, a wound on the nose and forehead, as well as the upper and lower jaw bones. The mentioned action committed by Kodua and Siradze led to the violation of lawful interests of the state and the rights of individuals.

Kodua and Siradze have been charged according to the Criminal Code of Georgia, and can face imprisonment for a term of ten to fourteen years.

Meanwhile the Chief Prosecutorsí Office has launched an investigation to identify other people involved in the assault of Gelashvili.

Parliamentary Speaker, Davit Usupashvili believes that the attack on Gelahsvili will proceed. "There was nothing surprising in the prosecution's statement. No one thought that Gelashvili was beaten by aliens. We did not know the names of specific bands. Nine years later this case was opened," Usupashvili said supposing that an attack on the MP is one of the worst days in the history of the country, which should never be repeated so that the opening of the crime is ďa good example."