A defense lawyer and public defender said on May 20, that the police detained relatives of Koba Otanadze, who has been identified by the Interior Ministry as the key mastermind of a reported mutiny in Mukhrovani on May 5.
Public Defender, Sozar Subari, and defense lawyer into the case, Onise Mebonia, said earlier on May 20, that brother of Koba Otanadze, Jimsher Otanadze, the latter’s wife Gulo Zaridze and their son Giorgi Otanadze were detained, but the fact of detention had not been “formally registered” and their whereabouts were not clear.
The reported detention comes a week after the police arrested another brother of Koba Otanadze, Nugzar Otanadze, who was charged with resisting police. He has been sent to a two-month pre-trial detention. Defense lawyer, Onise Mebonia, said Nugzar Otanadze was “beaten and tortured.” The Interior Ministry, however, said that Nugzar Otanadze sustained injuries while resisting the arrest. Public Defender, Sozar Subari, said that four other suspected arrested in connection with the Mukhrovani case, were also beaten after the arrest.
Subari told journalists on May 20, that Jimsher Otanadze and his family members were detained at 3am on May 20 “but we are still trying to find out their whereabouts.” “The Public Defender’s Office has contacted the Interior Ministry of Georgia. However, they did not give information about the whereabouts of the Otanadze family,” he said.
“We still do not know whereabouts of Otanadze family,” defense lawyer, Onise Mebonia, told Civil.Ge at 6:30pm local time on May 20.
The Interior Ministry has not made any statement on the allegations and the ministry officials were not available for the comment on the matter.
Along with Koba Otanadze, two other alleged masterminds of Mukhrovani mutiny are also at large – Levan Amiridze and Gia Krialashvili. The Interior Ministry offered GEL 50,000 as a reward for information about whereabouts of Amiridze and Krialashvili and GEL 200,000 (about USD 121,000) for the information on Koba Otanadze’s whereabouts.