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No patrol cameras show details of a man’s death when detained

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Tuesday, October 31
Georgia’s Chief Prosecutor’s Office says that none of the patrol police officers’ had their cameras turned on when they detained 32-year-old Paata Pavliashvili, who died in the process of being detained.

Pavliashvili’s family and some witnesses say that the police used excessive force in the detention process which could have caused the death of the young man, who left behind two children.

After examining footage seized from the Interior Ministry it became clear that the shoulder cameras of the officers have not fully recorded the incident, the Prosecutor’s Office says.

The Office stated that the footage only showed the period after Pavliashvili was initially approached by the police.

“The patrol inspector himself said that he was recording the conversation with the conflicting parties, G.K and N.Sh.; afterwards he turned the shoulder camera off and turned it on only after P.P. was detained and claimed to feel bad,” the Prosecutor’s Office reported.

“Another patrol inspector says that his shoulder camera’s battery was empty at the time and he left it in the police car in order to charge it. The camera does not thereforecontain any video footage,” the Office added.

The surveillance camera installed on the car did not have any line of sight of the incident, which took place on October 25.

The Prosecutor’s Office said an investigation was in progress to establish the truth.

The family of the deceased is demanding access to the case materials.

An application for this purpose was filed by a lawyer of Georgia’s Young Lawyers’ Association, Levan Vepkhvadze, at Tbilisi Prosecutor's Office, as the incident took place in the Nutsubidze area of Tbilisi.

The lawyer says the family also wants a change in an article the investigation is on, referring to the negligence which caused a death of a person.

The lawyer says the family believes indifference from the patrol police led to Pavliashvili’s death.

In its own statement, the Ministry of Internal Affairs wrote that Pavliahsvili was drunk and misbehaved towards the police, and the officers made a decision to detain him.

The ministry excluded the possibility that the police used any violence or excessive force.

The patrol police crew was called by one of the residents of the street who had a physical dispute with his neighbor, not with Pavliashvili.

As the man says, he was afraid to come down in the yard as his neighbor acted very aggressively.

He says when the police came,Pavliashvili appeared and used bad language to the policemen, as the person the police was going to address for aggressive behavior was Pavliashvili’s friend.

The man claims Pavliashvili was drunk, and frequently drank and used psychotropic medicines recreationally.

The person believes Pavliashvili suffered a heart attack in the process of his detention, and the police acted in line with the law.

Georgia’s Public Defender Ucha Nanuashvili says that the absence of footage of the whole incident raises question marks.

He stated the availability of the materials would absolve the police of any wrongdoing.