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Investigation launches into possible abuse of power from law enforcers

By Tea Mariamidze
Tuesday, June 25
Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia (POG) started an investigation into the criminal case of possible exceeding of authority from the law enforcers during the protest rallies in the center of Tbilisi on June 20-21.

“All the necessary investigative and procedural actions are carried out to investigate the facts of possible exceeding of power during the use of physical force and special means envisaged by the Law by the law enforcers against the participants of the demonstration,” the POG stated.

The agency noted that to make a final decision on the case, it is important to create a full picture of the incident not leave even the minor violation without proper reaction.

“For this purpose, the Prosecutor’s Office addresses the society to provide them with any evidence available in addition to the photo-video materials obtained by the Prosecutor’s Office itself, in order to get the relevant legal response in the shortest period regarding all violations and crime facts,” POG said.

Besides, the agency says that to ensure maximum transparency in the investigative process and accordance with the international best practice, the General Prosecutor’s Office expresses its readiness to engage the Public Defender in the process to fully guarantee human rights’ protection supervision.

Mamuka Chelidze, the Acting Director of the Central Criminal Police Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, stated on June 24 that authority of 10 law enforcers, who participated in the dispersal of the rally on Rustaveli Avenue, has been suspended while the investigation is ongoing.

“Within the investigation, at this stage, the powers of 10 law enforcement officers participating in the dispersal of the strike have already been suspended. Also, two law enforcement officers have been identified in criminal offenses. Accordingly, the materials will be forwarded to the General Prosecutor’s Office for reaction,” Chelidze said.

Bidzina Ivanishvili, Founder, and Chair of the ruling Georgian Dream (GD) party stated on Monday that those who organized mass violence and those who abused power should be punished.

“The public demand should be followed by legal consequences, and I am sure this will happen. Those who organized mass violence and those who abused power should be punished,” Ivanishvili stated.

Protests were launched in central Tbilisi when protesters stormed the parliament after a Communist party lawmaker from Russia Sergey Gavrilov sat in the speaker’s seat during an Interparliamentary Orthodox Assembly on June 20.

The situation escalated that nights and clashes occurred between the demonstrators and the law enforcers, mobilized at the site.

240 people, including 80 police officers have been injured, as police dispersed protesters through the massive use of tear gas and rubber bullets at the Parliament building in Tbilisi. However, the government stated the police used no rubber bullets.

Also, among the 305 detained, over 120 were sentenced to administrative imprisonment; others were released with an administrative fine or verbal warning.

The Interior Ministry also explained that deliberations on some administrative offences have been postponed.