The Chief Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia imposed liability on the former Deputy Head of the Corrections Department, Gaga Mkurnalidze and former Deputy Head of Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti Regional Main Division of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Megis Kardava for the torture of a prisoner in order to get a confession on the preparation of a terrorist act, and on the former Head of the Facility No. 8 of the Corrections Department, Aleksandre Mukhadze for the abuse of power. The Prosecutor’s Office made a statement on January 8.
Chief Prosecutor’s office makes special statement
By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Thursday, January 9
Megis Kardava and Alexandre Mukhadze are currently abroad, hiding. According to the Chief Prosecutor’s Office, the investigation revealed that on 2nd of April, 2011, Eldar Kobalia was detained by the officers of the Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti Regional Main Division of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, for purchase and possession of drugs. The detained was taken to the Zugdidi police station where he was tortured and Megiz Kardava, together with unidentified persons, was demanding from him to confess in preparing a terrorist act.
“As it turns out, the Minister of Internal Affairs under the United National Movement government - Vano Merabishvili, Director of the Constitutional Security department - Davit Akhalaia, his deputy Soso Topuridze, and other former officials of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, arrived in Zugdidi the same night and were present at the Regional Main Division of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. On the same day, Kobalia was housed in the Temporary Detention Isolator of Zugdidi, where his health condition was quite serious,” the office states.
The Chief Prosecutor’s Office stresses that on 4th of April, 2011, Kobalia and Koba Matkava were detained by the Constitutional Security Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in the preparation of a terrorist act Then they were beaten and tortured. Eldar Kobalia was transferred from Zugdidi to temporary detention in Tbilisi and Kobalia and Matkava were sentenced to prison by Tbilisi City Court and were housed in the Facility No. 8 of the Department of Corrections.
The investigation states that Megis Kardava and Gaga Mkurnalidze tortured Eldar Kobalia, Koba Matkava and Merab Kolbaia, demanding from them to confess in preparation of various terrorist acts and to name others as accomplices – they had been mercilessly beating the said persons for several hours, had been torturing them, using baton and electroshock.
“In the torture of the prisoners Megis Kardava and Gaga Mkurnalidze were using electroshock so often that they had to charge the device twice. While being tortured, Eldar Kobalia could not resist the physical violence against him and lost consciousness. Later, E. Kobalia’s condition got even worse and he died on the same day, without being provided medical assistance,” investigation states.
Mkurnalidze denies participation in the prisoners’ torture.
Member of the parliamentary minority Nugzar Tsiklauri states: “Of course, if someone committed a crime he should be punished… I have no details concerning the case. If there were such incidents, they should be investigated. However, after the Government’s collapse in many directions I doubt that the Chief Prosecutor’s activities aim at oppression of a main opposition party.”