Beka Gochiashvili’s family members were questioned at the Prosecutor’s Office on January 16th regarding his alleged pressure and insult of a young jazz musician during the interrogation earlier on January 8th. “They were questioned in order to identify whether there was pressure applied on Gochiashvili or not,” said Khatuna Paichadze, spokesperson of General Prosecutor’s Office.
Next step in Gochiashvilis’ interrogation
By Keti Arjevanidze
Thursday, January 17
The musician was questioned about a robbery that took place at Nana Davitaia’s apartment. 60 000 EU, 20 000 GEL, 10 000 USD and jewellery worth of 300 000 USD were stolen from safe located in the apartment. The robbery took place on January 4 of 2013. In the Skype interview with Rustavi 2, the jazz musician complained about pressure and insults from the police officers during interrogations on this case.
Valerian Gochiashvili, the musician’s father, who then attended his son’s interrogation, said his son was psychologically pressured while the police officers were questioning him. Gochiashvili’s father demands an investigation and also the punishment of the people who are suspected in the robbery.
Given testimonies by the witnesses showed that Daviatia’s apartment key was used by several individuals, including the musician, who with the consent of apartment owner, invited friends to stay in the apartment for one day.
“On January 8, 2013, Beka Gochiashvili, who is currently under-age, was questioned in the presence of his father, Valerian Gochiashvili and brother, Lasha Gochiashvili,” reads the statement of Ministry of Internal Affairs.
According to the MIA, Beka Gochiashvili said during his stay in the apartment his friends were looking for a USB cable, when one of them found a safe. Gochiashvili then asked his friends to stop searching, because of the awkwardness of the situation. Gochiashvili said that he became aware about the safe's theft late on January 4.
Considering the high public interest in the issue, the General Inspection launched an internal investigation at the request of the MIA. “Considering the high interest of society, the details of the investigation will be made public. In the case that Gochiashvili brothers were victims of the pressure and intimidation by police officers, the MIA will act in accordance with the law,” reads the statement.
Georgian Young Lawyers Association (GYLA) welcomed the reaction from the MIA. Although they stated that the existing model of interrogation is very problematic. According to them it is inevitable to implement new rule of witness’ questioning as soon as possible.
Justice Minister Tea Tsulukiani also commented on the issue. Tsulukiani ruled out the pressure on the musician and appealed to the opposition not to manipulate the issue in order to give the police an opportunity work in a calm situation.
President Mikheil Saakashvili also responded to the issue via his Facebook page on January 15th. The post reads that Saakashvili had a conversation with Beka Gochiashvili on a mobile phone and he also met with his father to learn about the details of the case.
The president expressed solidarity with the family and remarked that the violator must be punished.