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Controversy surrounds the GYLA and MIA

By Keti Arjevanidze
Monday, April 1
A clash occurred between the driver from the Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association and the Head of the Adjara main division of internal affairs, Valeri Telia on March 28. According to GYLA representatives, police officer Telia insulted the GYLA’s driver verbally.

Regarding the incident, the Ministry of Interior Affairs released a statement and video material. “Considering the high interest of society, the Ministry of Internal Affairs disseminates the video records obtained from the surveillance cameras, depicting the incident that took place on Griboedov Street in Batumi. The video record fully depicts the events that developed on March 28,” reads the statement.

Surveillance cameras recorded the violation of traffic movement by Roin Pertenadze, the driver and how the driver’s manoeuvres caused an emergency traffic situation.

The ministry also launched an internal investigation into the incident and its results will be reported to the media. The head of the GYLA also stated that there was a second, more detailed and accusatory video recording of the MIA worker, which the division deleted, Kozhoradze said. According to him, the video material which the Ministry released creates suspicion, “because there seems to be a physical confrontation,” Kozhoradze claims.

The head of the GYLA accuses the MIA in partiality and stated that even though the driver violated traffic signs, the MIA worker did not have the right to abuse the GYLA representative. “The fact that the policeman stops and gets in this kind of contact with the citizen, represents a violation of ethical code,” said Kozhorazde.

GYLA claimed to halt authority to Telia. Later the head of GYLA, Kakha Kozhoradze demanded to meet with the Minister of Interior Affairs, Irakli Gharibashvili.

Kozhoradze told the Messenger that he met with the Deputy Internal Minister, Levan Izoria. They discussed the details of the incident in Batumi. According to Kozhoradze, the Ministry confirmed the fact of the deleted materials. “Still questions remain,” Kozhorazde admitted and added that the issue is still on and final conclusions around it have not been made.

The public defender of Georgia also made a statement on the issue, which appeals to the Ministry of Internal Affairs to study the case and carry out instant and effective action. The statement continues that the complaints about physical and verbal insult from MIA workers received in the ombudsman’s department have increased. The statement of the public defender reiterated that an adequate reaction to every case is necessary in order to avoid the systemic nature of violence.

Various NGO representatives also commented on the issue and expressed great concern regarding the Batumi’s incident. According to them, instead of a rapid and objective investigation, “unfortunately we face concealed (coverage) of a crime and attempts to conduct the investigation in an incomplete manner.