Interior Minister, Vano Merabishvili, said on Monday that preliminary probe into death of a man in police station in Khashuri showed it was “an accident”; he said it was an “alarming” case, which prompted the Interior Ministry’s plans to introduce new regulations aimed at more transparency in the police stations.
“I and employees of our ministry were very concerned with this fact. It was a very bad fact,” Merabishvili said in televised remarks on March 5.
“The Georgian police defend the security of Georgian citizens in the streets, villages, cities and they should especially protect them in police stations. We are deliberately building transparent, glass buildings for police stations in order to make everything transparent there,” he said.
“According to the preliminary investigation, it was an accident, though in my opinion, it is still an alarming fact. Therefore I decided that we will introduce new rules to provide more transparency of procedures in regard to movement and security of any persons – a guest or a person with any other status – visiting police stations.”
“In the near future we will issue this decree,” Merabishvili continued. “The main part of this decree will be that a head of police unit in charge of a police station or a department will be personally responsible for the fulfillment of these norms and will also be personally responsible for preventing any accident.”
“In order to monitor the fulfillment of this decree, we will try to install video cameras and other monitoring mechanisms in all convenient places,” Merabishvili said.
Official police version of Solomon (Soso) Kimeridze’s death in the Khashuri police station late last month has been questioned as allegations persist that he could have died as a result of mistreatment while in the police custody. The Interior Ministry said that Kimeridze was taken to the police station on February 27 in connection to a robbery case and sustained multiple injuries after he “fell over the handrail into a foyer of the police station’s first floor” when going downstairs from the third floor of the building. He died after being hospitalized, according to the Interior Ministry.