The Special Investigation Service (SIS) announced on 31 August that they arrested two law enforcement officers for ill-treatment of detainees in two separate incidents in the cities of Zestaponi and Batumi.
The SIS denoted that as a result of facts revealed during its investigation, it arrested the Inspector-Investigator of the Zestaponi District Division of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Patrol Inspector of Adjara Main Division of the Patrol Police Department for violent abuse of official authority in various criminal cases.
Specifically, the investigation established that on 15 January 2022, in Zestaponi, citizen G.M. was arrested and taken to the Zestaponi district division for attacking the Inspector-Investigator in question while under the influence of alcohol. While at the Zestaponi District Division, the Inspector-Investigator slapped G.M. in the face.
Regarding the second case of ill-treatment, the investigation found that on 31 July 2022, drunk citizen G.G. was detained administratively for petty hooliganism and disobedience in Batumi by the Patrol Inspector in question. After arresting and placing G.G. in the back of the police car, the Patrol Inspector physically injured him by hitting him several times and striking his head with handcuffs.
The SIS continues its investigation of both cases under Article 333 (3b) of the Criminal Code of Georgia, referring to exceeding official powers using violence or a weapon. The two officers face imprisonment for a term of five to eight years, with deprivation of the right to hold an official position or carry out a particular activity for up to three years.
One of the Officers Released on Bail
According to media reports, the police officer involved in the Batumi incident who was arrested on 28 August, three days before the SIS’ announcement, the Court ruled GEL 10,000 bail as a preventive measure on 29 August. The Prosecutor’s Office denoted on 31 August that it appealed the Court’s decision.
Netgazeti reported that the policeman has already paid his bail and had been released.
While speaking with TV Pirveli, Paata Shavadze, the lawyer of the citizen involved in the Batumi incident, stated that his client is not against the policeman signing a plea agreement.
Shavadze also noted that the facts of police pressuring citizens “have become very frequent” and called on the General Prosecutor to take an interest in the issue.
“We have very frequent cases when people who have been beaten enter [the police station] and it is unfortunate, but it is a fact that these incidents are covered up and hidden,” he stressed.
The Ministry of Internal Affairs told Civil.ge that these police officers are no longer employed by their agency.
As for the second defendant, the Prosecutor’s Office has not yet applied to the Court to apply a preventive measure against him.
Note: This article was updated on 1 September at 9:30 to include the section following section “One of the Officers Released on Bail.”