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Parliament Chair addresses Gov’t to focus on suicide case allegedly involving policeman

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze and Mariam Chanishvili
Wednesday, September 7
Georgia’s Parliament Chair and leader of the Republican Party David Usupashvili, has appealed to the Interior Ministry and the Government of Georgia to pay attention to the beating of the mother of a deceased young man who committed a suicide after being allegedly pressured by a policeman.

Nona Jojua, who is the mother of the late Demur Sturua, was beaten by one of the witnesses of the case, Davit Natsvlishvili, several days ago after Jojua gave a testimony against him.

Jujua told the media that Natsvlishvili demanded that she withdrew the testimony, then beat her up in the presence of her 18-year-old son, whose brother committed suicide last month and left a letter wherein he blamed a policeman, Goderdzi Tevzadze, of putting pressure on him to name drug dealers living in his neighborhood.

Usupashvili, whose party runs separately from the ruling team in the October 8 Parliamentary race, has called on the Minister of Internal Affairs and the Prime Minister “to put aside other cases and focus on this one”.

“We have witnesses who should be under special protection, but instead, we come across people coming to the witnesses for physical assault. I do not know what is going on here,” stated Usupashvili.

The Prosecutor’s Office launched an investigation into the case. The court delivered a verdict against Natsvlishvili and said the man physically assaulted Jojua with the demand to withdraw her testimony.

Natsvlishvili admitting to assaulting Jojua but denied he demanded that she refute her claims against him.

The policeman Tevzadze is on the run now. Law enforcers say he hasn’t crossed the state border.

Prime Minister of Georgia Giorgi Kvirikashvili has earlier commented on the case.

“Of course, an investigation will be concluded and the government will not cover any of its own employees if one is found to be at fault,” said Kvirikashvili, and added he personally would monityor the developments of the investigation.

The Civil sector has criticized the country’s drug-related police efforts, which give “power to police officers to exercise pressure on people”.

The United National Movement party accused the Government of irresponsibility and stressed that Interior Minister Giorgi Mgebrishvili was engaged with foreign trips instead of fulfilling his domestic obligations.