Main Prosecutor's Office Has Released Details of the Case on the Murder of Robakidze

2013-02-26 11:38:00

On February 25th, 2013, former Patrol Police officer-inspector L.Lobzhanidze was interrogated by the Investigation Unit of the Main Prosecutor's Office, in regards to the information disseminated by him in the mass media on February 21st, 2013, according to which through the video shots spread in media by the accused I.Pirtskhalava, he allegedly remembered further circumstances in connection with Amiran (Buta) Robakidze's murder on Tsereteli Avenue on the night of November 24th, 2004.

For 8 years, former Patrol Police officer-inspector L. Lobzhanidze, has been repeatedly giving false and inherently contradictory testimonies in relation to Amiran (Buta) Robakidze's case, which he proved during his interrogation on February 25th, 2013 However, neither the Main Prosecutor's Office, nor the Court, have ever given any legal assessments on alterations of and essential contradictions in his testimonies. 
Here are excerpts from Lobzhanidze's testimonies offered to the public:
On November 14th, 2004, on the night of the incident, as he was a direct witness, L.Lobzhanidze applied with a report to A.Gvazava, the Head of the 3rd Sub-Division of Didube-Chughureti district (currently defendant), where he noted: "Right after our (his and G. Bashaleishvili's) arrival at the scene, a young man jumped out of the back-right side of the car, who fired twice in our direction from a submachine gun.  After the Patrol Police officer-inspector G. Bashaleishvili had made a responsive shot toward him, the above-mentioned person was neutralized... Giorgi Kurdadze chucked the submachine gun next to the car. I.Mikaberidze threw a revolver on the ground, L.Dangadze flung a hand grenade, etc." 
L.Lobzhanidze was recognized as the victim and on November 24th, 2004, when being interrogated as a victim, he testified the following: "I saw that a young boy went out of the rear-right door of a car, heading toward the trunk of the car. As he faced the trunk, I saw a submachine gun and at this moment he made two shots in our direction. At his fire, I momentarily bent down, while my partner G.Bashaleishvili shot in his direction." In parallel to this, he (L. Lobzhanidze) saw that "The vehicle's front-right door was open, out of which a young boy jumped, who threw the submachine gun down on the ground. After that, a boy got out from the back-right sit of the car, holding a revolver in his hand; yet another boy came out who threw down a hand grenade, etc."  
On April 7th, 2005, when L.Lobzhanidze was questioned in parallel to I. Mikaberidze (the accused of that time), opposing the latter, Lobzhanidze testified that, "When I came out of the car, I turned to the left. At this point, suddenly, I heard a sound of a shot, to which I instinctively stooped down, after that I heard several more shots, I don’t know how many, because I did not count them. When the shooting stopped, I arose and saw that the man, who was standing on the left side of the car, was bent over and G.Bashaleishvili was in his vicinity. Then I looked around at the back of the automobile and saw a young man lying on the asphalt, who was, apparently, unknown to me. Also, I noticed that the young person had a submachine gun... I noticed another automatic weapon near the vehicle's front right side, lying on the ground."
On June 29th, 2005 during his questioning in the status of a witness (due to liability imposed upon G.Bashaleishvili, the resolution recognizing him as a victim was annulled), L.Lobzhanidze testified , saying: "When my partner G.Bashaleishvili, already armed with a gun, got out of the car, I had not even stepped out of the automobile as I heard the sound of shooting. At that moment, I could not see who had fired the gun, but then I learned that G.Bashaleishvili was the one who made the shot ...” In the same testimony, L.Lobzhanidze indicated that his previous testimonies did not correspond to reality and he explained changing of his testimony by the fact that he "was anxious and nervous, used the facts passed to him by others.”
On June 13th, 2006, during the court hearing on prosecution against G. Bashaleishvili, while L.Lobzhanidze was being questioned as a witness, the latter stated that “Bashaleishvili stepped out of the car immediately, holding a gun in his hand. I remember Tchanturia, who was standing behind the car, I noticed his gaze. After that I started getting out of the automobile. At that exact moment I heard a sharp sound of shooting and ducked next to the car. I recovered after few seconds and arose. I saw that one citizen was lying on the ground. I do not remember how, but I learned that the shot had been made from Bashaleishvili's weapon. There was only one shot ... Tchanturia provided me with a gun and told me that these were the weapons that they carried. I saw a revolver; later on I also noticed a hand grenade. I did not notice the citizens (who came out of the car) carrying any weapons, if they had any guns, I would have probably spotted them. There was a submachine gun lying next to the deceased. Bashaleishvili never fired a second shot at him; I did not see him with Robakidze's automatic weapon". "Those versions, which I provided in my previous testimony, about the existence of the guns, must have been caused by my emotional state at that time". He explained yet another change in his testimony due to the fact that "the emotional frame of mind followed him for a long time." At that same court hearing, as a response to the additional questions, he explained once again that he “was there during the requisition. In the hands of the arrested young men he didn’t see any weapons. Whoever was standing at the front-right side of the car, he was the only person holding a weapon. Tchanturia said that he removed it from him, though, I didn’t see it. Hand grenade was also lying there. I, personally, didn’t see anybody holding it. That view as if Robakidze stepped out of the car and fired, is a lie. I didn’t notice guns in their hands. Tchanturia himself showed me the automatic weapon, I saw the revolver on the backside. "
On December 3rd, 2012, in the testimony of L.Lobzhanidze given to the investigation he states that: "I heard the sound of a shot as I was stepping out of the car, I ducked... There was a considerable amount of confusion ... If I'm not mistaken, I ran towards my car to call for an ambulance. I saw a dead body of a young boy, there were no weapons at the side of his body (still on the court hearing of 2006, he stated that there was a fire gun next to the body of the deceased), as well, when I looked around the crime scene, at that moment there were no firearms or ammunition nearby and on the trunk of the car". According to L.Lobzhanidze's testimony, after the certain amount of time, he moved from the epicenter area of the crime scene and went to the car, in which G.Bashaleishvili was sitting. During this period of time, the place was crowded by the big number of police staff members without uniforms, and only afterwards L.Lobzhanidze heard someone’s phrase: "Look what they have!”. Following this, he (L.Lobzhanidze) sees a pistol and several knives lying on the trunk of the car. Only after that, he notices a submachine gun near the deceased person’s body. According to his testimony, "It was all very surprising for him because he saw no firearms or ammunition when he had approached the scene, as to how they (firearms and ammunition) appeared afterwards, is unknown to him." He still repeatedly pronounces that guns appeared on the place of the crime only after the police officers, dressed in civilian clothes, arrived at the crime scene. Dissimilar testimonies that he had been giving before, he justified by explaining that "There were general talks about the fact that we had to give testimonies in compliance with the evidences put forward by the investigation."
On December 13th, 2012 within the framework of the same investigation, during the reexamined questioning of L. Lobzhanidze as a witness, he once again testified that "Not a single detainee had any fire weapons or ammunition, and during investigation and in the court, they never asked him detailed questions about this, since, probably, they wanted to hold this kind of investigation, so he did not show an initiative himself."
On February 23rd-25th, 2013, as he was still being questioned as a witness, L.Lobzhanidze indicated that he had given the false testimony, which did not correspond to the truth. This time he testified that there was one submachine gun and a revolver pistol at the crime scene, which he, in his previous two testimonies, had categorically denied. As for the second automatic weapon and the two hand grenades, he explained that he had noticed such weaponry only some time later.
The Prosecutor’s Office considers that L.Lobzhanidze's inherently contradictory testimonies serve the purpose of obstructing execution of justice, and is committed due to personal motives. L.Lobzhanidze was arrested under the article 3711, paragraph 2 of the Criminal Code of Georgia, and will be ch