Prosecutor’s Office Makes a Decision to Review Judgements of Unlawfully Convicted Political Prisoners

2017-09-04 12:43:19

Department to Investigate Offenses Committed in Course of Legal Proceedings of the Chief Prosecutor’s  Office of Georgia has made a decision to review judgements of conviction of the political prisoners – Gia Salukvadze and Teimuraz Zhghenti.
Prior to the aforementioned decision, a repeated comprehensive and objective investigation had been conducted into the case, new witnesses had been interrogated, dozens of investigative and procedural actions had been carried out, case files had been studied, new evidence and facts had been collected, whereupon the investigation obtained a set of irrefutable evidence in each case, which completely excluded the facts of the persons having committed the crimes they had been convicted of.
Renewed investigation revealed that Gia Salukvadze and Teimuraz Zhghenti were convicted and have been serving their sentences because of their political views unacceptable for the previous government and for participating in street protests against the government.
On May 25, 2011, Gia Salukvadze was organizing a street protest against the government in front of the Parliament building, on Rustaveli Avenue, which was raided by law enforcement.
Representatives of the law enforcement authorities found out about Gia Salukvadze’s political activities. In several days after dispersal of the demonstration, on May 31, when Gia Salukvadze was returning home on from the funeral of a citizen killed during the raid of the said demonstration when police officers met him at the lobby of his residential building on Kavtaradze Street, forcibly put him in a motor vehicle and took him to a police station. Later, drew up a false detention report in order to unlawfully convict him. It was stated in the report, as if Gia Salukvadze assaulted police officers on hooligan motives and abused them physically, regarding whereof, policemen ‘involved’ in the incident were questioned, giving incriminating statements against him.    
Gia Salukvadze, arrested on the grounds of false evidence, was sentenced to deprivation of liberty for a term of 4 years by a court, on February 06, 2012.
As for the other political prisoner, in May 2011, Teimuraz Zhghenti was actively involved in preparation and organization of demonstration to be held against the government. To this end, he was informing and mobilizing population of Isani-Samgori District in connection of the planned demonstration. Exactly because of his political activities, with the aim to disrupt the organization of the demonstration, police officers unlawfully arrested Teimuraz Zhghenti on his way from his home to grocery on Tsulikidze Street, Tbilisi, on May 21, 2011. Policemen planted a firearm on Teimuraz Zhghenti, as if he was carrying it.
On the basis of false evidence, Teimuraz Zhghenti, arrested on political motives, was convicted on September 13, 2011 and was sentenced to deprivation of liberty for a term of 2 years.
Gia Salukvadze and Teimuraz Zhghenti left the detention center in January 2013, after the change of government, when the Parliament granted them the status of political prisoner.
Evidence obtained in the course of repeated investigation into both cases confirmed that the criminal acts of which the convicts had been deemed culpable never occurred, therefore, Prosecutor’s Office has issued decrees regarding violation of the both convicts’ rights, on the basis whereof we apply to Tbilisi Court of Appeals to review judgements due to the newly revealed circumstances.
The process initiated by the new Department created in the Office of the Chief Prosecutor of Georgia concerning the review of convictions handed down against wrongfully convicted persons and reinstatement of their violated rights, shall have an irreversible nature. For the time being, due to newly revealed circumstances, Department to Investigate Offenses Committed in the Course of Legal Proceedings of the Chief Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia has applied to the Court of Appeals regarding the cases of 29 convicts, 11 persons wherefrom have already been acquitted.