About Civil.ge
Eng | Geo | Rus
Last updated: 10:55 - 1 May.'18
Rights Groups: More Questions Than Answers in Official Probe into Merabishvili’s Allegations
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 17 Jan.'14 / 15:32

An internal inquiry carried out by the prison system ministry into allegations voiced by ex-interior and former PM Vano Merabishvili, who is now in pretrial detention, failed to clarify the case, on the contrary, it triggered even more questions, a group of human rights, legal advocacy and watchdog organizations said in their joint statement on January 17.

Ministry in charge of penitentiary system said on January 15 that its internal probe found no evidence to substantiate allegations leveled by Merabishvili, who claimed on December 17 that he was unlawfully taken from his prison cell overnight on December 14 for a meeting with then chief prosecutor. The prison system ministry said it studied all the available material, but it was not possible to review footage from prison surveillance cameras because recordings are only stored for twenty four hours and then automatically deleted. Before the ministry announced on December 23 about opening internal probe, prison system minister Sozar Subari said that as far as he was aware recordings of prison surveillance cameras were stored for 10 days.

In their joint statement Georgian Young Lawyers Association; Transparency International Georgia; International Society For Fair Elections and Democracy; Georgian Democracy Initiative; Media Development Foundation; Human Rights Education and Monitoring Center said that “a comprehensive and timely” investigation by the prosecutor’s office should be carried out.

“Results of examination carried out by the general inspectorate of the [prison] ministry triggered additional questions,” reads the statement. “Persisting suspicions were further fueled by contradictory statements of the minister [Sozar Subari] about how long recordings from CCTV cameras, installed in prison and Merabishvili’s cell, are stored.”

The statement calls on the authorities to investigate the case in order to give “comprehensive answers” on persisting “legitimate questions”.

Commenting on Merabishvili’s allegations, PM Irakli Garibashvili said during a press conference on January 16 that it was a “ludicrous story, made up” by the UNM opposition party. He said that Merabishvili allegation that he was “kidnapped” from his prison cell in December for the purpose of exerting pressure on him was “a well-planned, dirty campaign” against then chief prosecutor Otar Partskhaladze.

“No one needs to kidnap him [Merabishvili]; he sits [in prison cell] very well and he will sit there well,” PM Garibashvili said.

“I do not know why questions still remain over this inquiry [by the prison system ministry],” Garibashvili continued. “If someone still has questions they can go and speak with [prison system ministry], which will make a detailed explanation.”

“Personally I have no questions over this issue, I trust Subari’s findings of course and I think that majority in the society has no questions either,” the Prime Minister said.

“They [referring to UNM opposition] have no other issue to talk about and talk only about Merabishvili,” he added.

Garibashvili mentioned UNM at the same news conference when speaking about other topic and said that he’s ready to “accept” criticism when it comes from any “unbiased” persons, “but I do not accept criticism from so called opposition, the United National Movement, whom I do not consider as opponent.”

Public Defender, Ucha Nanuashvili, who met Merabishvili after the latter voiced his allegations, said on January 15 that penitentiary ministry’s internal probe failed to remove all the question marks and called for a thorough investigation by prosecutor’s office.

Latest News
01 May.'18 10:55
We Have Moved to a New Platform
Direct Your Bookmarks to https://civil.ge.
29 Apr.'18 03:54
Ruling Party Candidate Wins MP By-Elections
Givi Chichinadze will represent Vani and Khoni single-mandate constituency in the Parliament of Georgia.
28 Apr.'18 09:40
Polls Open for Vani and Khoni MP By-Elections
48,123 voters are eligible to cast their ballots in Vani and Khoni single-mandate constituency.
27 Apr.'18 17:23
State Dept’s Europe Affairs Point Man to Visit Tbilisi
Wess Mitchell will meet senior government officials and address the NATO-Georgia Public Diplomacy Forum.
27 Apr.'18 13:45
In Quotes: Georgian Politicians on Ex-PM Bidzina Ivanishvili’s Comeback
Bidzina Ivanishvili will be approved as the Georgian Dream party chairman at the upcoming convention.
26 Apr.'18 18:15
SG Jens Stoltenberg: Georgia NATO’s ‘Very Close’ Partner
The NATO Secretary General says Foreign Ministers meeting tomorrow will recognize the country’s progress.
26 Apr.'18 14:24
Ex-PM Ivanishvili to Chair Georgian Dream Party
Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili said Ivanishvili was ‘best equipped’ to add new dynamism to the party.
26 Apr.'18 11:12
Lawmaker Proposes Criminal Liability for ‘Insult of Religious Feelings’
The parliamentary human rights committee decided to set up a working group for scrutinizing the draft law.
25 Apr.'18 17:21
New Abkhaz Government Head Appointed
Gennady Gagulia has served as the Abkhaz “prime minister” twice - in 1995-1997, and 2002-2003.
25 Apr.'18 14:43
Watchdog Improves Georgia’s Press Freedom Ranking
None of the countries of the former Soviet Union (except the Baltics) are ranked ahead of Georgia.

About Civil Georgia
Civil.Ge © 2001-2022, Daily News Online
Registered office: 2 Dolidze Str, 4-th Floor.