Statement of the Chief Prosecutor's Office

2013-03-13 03:40:00

The alleged "Prison Riot" case has been solved.  It concerns the so-called "Prison Riot" taking place on March 26-27, 2006, in the 1st, 5th Penitentiary Centers and Medical Facility for the Sentenced Persons and Prisoners of the Penitentiary Department.

Preliminary investigation revealed that as of spring of 2006, Bachana Akhalaia determined to disperse rumors about his beatings and humiliation of prisoners, when being in drunken condition, spread in the mass media means. For fulfillment of these intentions, Bachana Akhalaia and G.Dgebuadze (Nicknamed "Mastera"), drawn up a plan by which the rumors of Akhalaisa's drunken violence against and disrespect of prisoners spread through mass media would have been dissipated. For this purpose, in Akhalaia's office, the latter and Dgebuadze held a meeting with a criminal authority Mamardashvili and introduced him to a plan, in which P.Mamardashvili would be involved. According to the plan, during their daily walk time, after the prisoners would leave their residential wing, hidden video and audio equipment would  be installed in front of the cells of so-called “Legal Thieves”. After which, by the order of Head of the institution, prisoner Zurab Vibliani would be brought to the corridor. In criminal society of the Institution, Vibliani was considered to be an “observer” of the Institution. As a "Legal Thief", P.Mamardashvili, in front of the camera, was to engage in conversation with Vibliani about unbearable conditions created for crime authorities in the facility, for which P.Mamardashvili would blame Bachana Akhalaia. Then, in order to artificially discredit him, Akhalia was to assign Z. Vibliani a task of selecting a high-profile, more or less publicly renowned prisoner, who also would be a reliable person for them. The latter would be offered to perform some kind of light self-injury, and, via human rights activist Nana Kakabadze, subsequently, bring a complaint against Bachana Akhalaia for inflicting this injury upon him. According to Akhalia's plan, conversation between P.Mamardashvili and Z.Vibliani would be recorded by a hidden camera. After Z.Vibliani would select the prisoner, who would do a self-harm and bring a legal complaint to N.Kakabadze, the last mentioned, accordingly, would make a public statement via written press and television. At this point, Bachana Akhalaia would release video and audio recordings of P.Mamardashvili and Z.Vibliani's conversation, by means of which he would mislead the public that the rumors of ill-treatment of prisoners by him were staged by the criminal authorities.
In return of fulfillment of the task, Bachana Akhalaia promised Petre Mamardashvili to help him with his case in the Supreme Court, where he had brought an appeal against Tbilisi City Court and Court of Appeals verdicts, by which he was rendered guilty. P.Mamardashvili was forced to accept the proposal. Indeed, as Akhalaia had planned, Mamardashvili held a meeting with Vibliani, but Vibliani left without even having listened to Mamardashvili.
To ensure implementation of the plan, B.Akhalaia, as of March 25th, 2006, addressed a letter to the General Prosecutor's Office. In that letter, he lied that according to the obtained operative information, on March 25th, 2006, "Legal Thieves", who were placed in the medical facilities of the prison were planning a riot and Akhalaia requested Prosecution Office for permission on hidden video and audio recording of the penitentiary Medical Facility.
On March 25, 2006, the Prosecutor's Office of Georgia passed a resolution on the use of hidden video and audio recordings in emergency circumstances. On the same day, hidden camera was installed in the corridor, as well as, in the cell of the "Thief Wing" of the hospital.
In accordance with B. Akhalaia's plan, after return of the prisoners, including P.Mamardashvili, to their ward, by the order of Head of the Institution - M. Sinauridze, Zurab Vibliani was placed in Mamardashvili’s cell. Vibliani was unaware of the reason why he was being put there, however, Mamardashvili didn’t fulfill Akhalaia’s order and didn’t say anything in front of the camera.
After listening to the tape, Akhalaia, was convinced that P.Mamardashvili had not complied with his order and decided to avenge him (P.Mamardashvili) and Z. Vibliani. On March 27, 2006 at 01:00 am, along with Megis Qardava, Revaz Charbadze, Giorgi Poladashvili - Director of #7 Jail, and several members of a special unit, Akhalaia came to the Medical Facility and requested to bring convicts P.Mamardashvili and Z.Vibliani to the office of the Director for the purposes of punishment. He also requested bringing of prisoners Giorgi Avaliani and Levan Tsindeliani (who had nothing in common with P.Mamardashvili and Z.Vibliani), to the office of the Director, though calling for them served Akhalaia's intention to mask the aim of avenging for the unfulfilled task by Mamardashvili and Vibliani. 
Upon entering the office of the Director, Akhalaia showed the videotape of P.Mamardashvili's unfulfilled task and stated that he (Mamardashvili ) was to be punished for the misconduct. After this, Megis Qardava started cutting the hair of Mamardashvili in front of other prisoners for the purpose of humiliation of his (of P.Mamardashvili) criminal authority and placing the cut hair into his pocket. After that, in order to further provoke the prisoners, Akhalaia asked Z.Vibliani and G.Avaliani what a day, date and year it was, to which Avaliani responded that Akhalaia already knew it himself.
For this answer Akhalaia spit in G.Avaliani's face. G. Avaliani responsed by punching Akhalia. Henceforth, B. Akhalaia, R. Charbadze, M. Qardava and Special Unit officers brutally beat G.Avaliani, Z.Vibliani and P.Mamardashvili. At the same time, B. Akhalaia, using the portable radio transmitter, called Special Unit of the Penitentiary Department to be present in the Medical Facility.
The prisoners were dragged outside the first-floor hallway of the hospital, where the prisoner Levan Tsindeliani was brought too. Then, they were taken to the prison yard, were brutally beaten in front of the other prisoners. At the end, they were taken
out to the escort vehicle parking lot, through  passing the control checkpoints of the institution, where the prisoner Z.Tsindeliani had an epilepsy attack. After the first aid performed by the Chief Doctor of the Institution, they were placed in the convoy car and taken to N7 Penitentiary Facility. After some time, M.Zedelashvili and N.Makharadze were also transported there, subsequent to being put in the medical facility with extreme health conditions.
As a result of such illegal conduct executed by Akhalaia and other administrative Heads of the Institution, prisoners expressed active protest, which turned into a prison riot. Within the same night, prisoners’ anxiety was monitored, in particular, in the neighboring - N5 and N1Penitentiary Centers.
Due to these offenses, Bachana Akhalaia was charged in accordance with  Article 332, paragraph 3, subparagraphs "b" and "c" of the Criminal Code (abuse of official power), as of March 2006, edition of the year 1999.