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The News in Brief

Tuesday, May 16
Former Georgian Serviceman Killed Fighting for Ukraine

A Georgian citizen fighting on the Ukrainian side in the east of the country was killed in the Donetsk region, Ukrainian and Georgian media sources reported.

44-year-old Davit Sikharulidze, who fought under the Aidar Battalion, died close to the village of Novolugansk on May 11.

The Georgian Ministry of Defense expressed condolences over the death and said in a statement that Davit Sikharulidze served at the Krtsanisi National Training Center from 2010 to 2014, before voluntarily leaving for Ukraine.

Six former prison guards in Georgia will face trial for torture

Six former guards at the notorious Penitentiary No 8 in Tbilisi have been detained for the alleged torture of prisoners during the presidency of Mikheil Saakashvili.

Legal proceedings have been launched against the former head of the Legal Regimen of the same facility, Oleg Patsatsia, who is currently under arrest on the same charges.

The Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia released a statement on Thursday listing the grave accusations that Oleg Patsatsia and his subordinates engaged in torture, rape and degrading treatment of inmates in 2010 and 2011.

Penitentiary No 8 is located in Gldani on the outskirts of Tbilisi, and it usually referred to as ‘Gldani Prison’. In the media, which at the time was supportive of Saakashvili, it was held forth as an example of humane prisoner treatment, but among the population it was notorious for the outrageous treatment of inmates. As such, Gldani Prison became emblematic of the way reforms were used as a ‘facade’ to hide serious problems.

In September 2012, just a month before the landmark parliamentary elections, videotapes were leaked depicting the torture of inmates, including minors. These videos, shown by several TV channels and circulated by social media, triggered a massive of popular outcry and, as many commentators argue, swayed public opinion against Mikheil Saakashvili’s United National Movement, which then lost the elections.

A number of penitentiary officials and guards have been tried for torture and inhumane treatment of prisoners since then, including Oleg Patsatsia.

According to the prosecutors, the seven accused ‘indiscriminately and violently mistreated the prisoners, verbally and physically abused them upon their arrival at Penitentiary No 8, and during the following period, these prisoners were repeatedly abused in order to achieve their unconditional obedience’.

“The investigation also established that the defendants would often take prisoners out of their cells arbitrarily and move them to a bath situated in the building of the facility, where they would physically abuse them by using bludgeons and other objects. Moreover, to cause the moral anguish of the inmates, they were placed in the penitentiary morgue with deceased persons and left there locked up for a certain period,” the POG stated.

The POG states that up to 600 former and current inmates have been interrogated and the vast majority of them claimed to be victims of abuse. Oleg Patsatsia’s involvement in the abuse has been confirmed by 200 inmates, and another detainee, Malkhaz Ghviniashvili, a.k.a. ‘the Fascist’ was indicated by over 100 inmates, while the other three were accused by ‘tens of witnesses’.

If convicted, the detainees may be sentenced to up to six years in prison.
(DF watch)

Wrestler Zurab Datunashvili wounded at night club

Wrestler Zurab Datunashvili has been wounded at the night club. According to, Georgian wrestler and two-time European champion Zurab Datunashvili is now being treated at hospital.

According to the information, Datunashvili had been arguing with unknown people two days ago in one of the city's night clubs, after which he was wounded with a knife.

As InterPressNews was told by the Ministry of Internal Affairs, an investigation is underway according to the Article 117 of the Criminal Code of Georgia that pertains to the infliction of intentional serious damage to health.