Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia Discontinues Investigation into the Case of Alleged Torture of I.Kh.

2017-10-11 17:41:04

Considering high public interests, we hereby inform you that Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia discontinues investigation into a criminal case of torture of I.Kh, allegedly committed by certain officers of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
Investigation was launched based on the proposition by the Public Defender of Georgia regarding possible maltreatment of I.Kh, according to which, while being questioned in the capacity of witness at Vake-Saburtalo Police Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, he became a victim of torture exerted by police officers, who coerced him to confess crime, to which end systematically abused him physically. As it was noted in the statement of the Public Defender, I.Kh. lost consciousness several times while being under physical pressure at the police station.
Investigation conducted into the case revealed that Vake-Saburtalo Police Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs was conducting proceedings into the cases of fraud and theft, and I.Kh.’s friend Z.J. was being implicated in these offences. On February 16, 2017, I.Kh. was questioned in the capacity of witness, when he gave a statement incriminating Z.J. In particular, I.Kh. implicated Z.J. in several counts of having committed fraudulent acts. In addition, he provided statements against him in two other cases. Before the questioning, rights and obligations of witness were read to I.Kh, which he confirmed by putting his signature into the relevant box of the record. I.K. was also informed of possibility of testifying in court, to which he agreed. However, as the questioning ended, I.Kh. asked if his friend Z.J. would be in a courtroom while he would be giving testimony. After the investigator explained that Z.J. would be in a courtroom, I.Kh. insisted to tear up the record of his statement, justifying it with the fact that Z.J. was his friend and therefore, he could not testify. In addition, he might face problems in the neighborhood, where he and Z.J. were living. Regarding the said matter, police officers explained him that since the record had been signed, it became an evidence and it could not be destroyed since it would be a crime.
After the aforementioned conversation, senior officers of the police station talked to I.Kh., explaining him that he would not have any problems and in case Z.J. committed any illegal act, measures prescribed by the law would be applied against him.
Within the scope launched at the Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia, I.Kh, during the first questioning relating the cases, as well as through media outlets denied the fact of making incriminatory statement against Z.J. However, after the case of Z.J.’s prosecution was requested and material containing the abovementioned information were presented to I.Kh, he confirmed that the signature on the questioning record and statement confirming correctness of the information provided in the record, had been executed by him.
G.K, victim in the case of Z.J.’s prosecution, and his/her relative, who were in the lobby while I.Kh. was being questioned, were questioned as well. They were able to see clearly the process of questioning I.Kh. According to their statements, there was neither physical nor verbal abuse of I.Kh.
Z.J. himself and his girlfriend were also questioned. During the interrogation, they indicated that Z.J. and I.Kh. had been friends since their childhood, however, they does not maintain relationship because of an argument they had. Namely, since Z.J. moved to a rented apartment at first and then he was arrested, I.Kh. regularly contacted the girlfriend of the arrested, and negatively referred to him during the meeting at the café. According to the Z.J.’s girlfriend, I.K. overstepped friendly attitude toward her and obviously expressed sympathy. Z.J. and his girlfriend indicated that I.Kh. did not mention anything to them about coercion exerted by authorities.    
I.Kh. and his defence lawyer were repeatedly given opportunity to study the case materials, when they doubted the authenticity of G.K.’s statement and demanded to request the information concerning incoming and outgoing calls on G.K’s phone, and to examine his phone (social network apps and other applications for communication), which was granted by the investigation; however, no information that would undermine G.K’s statement was retrieved as a result of the conducted investigative actions.
Police officers, which, according to I.Kh. abused him, were rounded up for identity parade. I.Kh. identified those persons, who confirmed in their statements that they had contact with I.Kh. and assured him that Z.J. would not be able to cause him any problems because of the incriminating statement made by him. Therefore, the fact that he knew the faces of the said persons was confirmed regardless, by the evidence obtained relation to the case, including the statements of the police officers.
Investigation requested recordings of the surveillance cameras covering inner and outer perimeters, as well as of those installed on the buildings around the police station. Examination of those recordings did not confirm the fact of any crime having been committed against I.Kh. by police officers at Vake-Saburtalo Police Department of the MIA of Georgia on February 16, 2017.
Moreover, during the investigation into the case it was also revealed that in course of questioning I.Kh, he was presented to victim G.K. for identification by the investigator, by violating the Code of Procedure. For this reason, prosecutor has issued a notification on possible fact of disciplinary misconduct by the investigator, which has been forwarded to the General Inspection of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia for further response.
As a result of the comprehensive and objective investigation conducted into the case, it has been established that no illegal act has been committed by the police officers against I.Kh. Hence, investigation into the case has been discontinued due to the absence of the act specified by the Criminal Code.