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Political unity Lelo demands state inspector to investigate murder involving MIA employee

By Natalia Kochiashvili
Thursday, January 9
Officer of Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) Murad Tsurtsumia, arrested for the death of 24-year-old, was arrested as a preventive measure. The accused confesses to beatings. At the court hearing, he said he regretted the incident:

“I am very sorry for such an outcome. I couldn't imagine what would happen. My goal was to prevent him from taking the car and it had such a tragic outcome. It wasn't my goal.

Of course, the victim's side will not understand so sentence me to imprisonment," stated the defendant at the Tbilisi City Court hearing.

The next pre-trial hearing on the case will take place on February 24 at 2 pm.

Murad Tsurtsumia, 24, was found tortured on the morning of January 3. The family accuses MIA officer Z.F. of torture. The only eyewitness to the incident is his brother, 21-year-old Mukhrani.

According to the prosecution, an investigation into the case revealed that on January 2, 2020, the so-called 'nighttime conflicts' broke out at a cemetery where an MIA officer killed Murad Tsurtsumia over a car. According to the investigative agency, the Tsurtsumia brothers illegally 'took possession of the vehicle of the accused Z.'

"The accused Z.F. tried to stop the aforementioned persons, during which the physical confrontation between the aforementioned persons continued for several minutes, and the accused Z. F. inflicted death to Tsurtsumia,” notes the prosecutor's office.

On January 6, the case was referred to the Tbilisi Prosecutor's Office for further investigation because the defendant was a current employee of the Interior Ministry.

On January 6, MIA employee was charged with the second part of Article 117 of the Criminal Code of Georgia and the first part of Article 126, which involves beating or other violence that caused physical injury to the victim, as well as deliberate serious damage to health that led to the loss of life.

According to the prosecutor's office, the investigation into the theft of a vehicle is underway.

Political unity “Lelo for Georgia” has demanded the State Inspector’s office investigate the recent murder of 24-year-old Tsurtsumia who died in an incident involving the Interior Ministry employee.

The Prosecutor’s Office says that Tsurtsumia and his brother attempted stealing Z.F.’s car late on January 2, near a cemetery of Varketili district, in the outskirts of Tbilisi, which led to a physical confrontation.

The Prosecutor’s Office reports that Tsurtsumia died due to the injuries he received during an altercation with the accused.

MIA officer admits to the crime and says that he failed to control himself and had no intention to kill anyone.

Lelo says that the case must be investigated by an independent agency, the State Inspector's Office, which looks into alleged offenses committed by law enforcers and not the Georgian Chief Prosecutor’s Office.

Lelo believes that the murder of 24-year-old Murad Tsurtsumia should be investigated by an independent inspector. Ana Natsvlishvili, a member of the union, said at the news conference that the case had a slight qualification and that the investigation was being conducted by the prosecutor's office, which, according to current practice, was detained by law enforcement agencies.

"We see a clear attempt to subvert this case as well and not bring justice to this heinous assassination. The qualification given by the prosecution to this crime is much lighter than it is, and to be properly qualified to do so, it should be investigated by not the Prosecutor's Office but the State Inspectorate."

Natsvlishvili said they demand that an independent agency launches an immediate investigation of the case and confirm that it is truly independent and not just another institution in the hands of the Georgian Dream.