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Chief Prosecutor Ready to Meet Late Terrorism Suspect’s Family

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Friday, February 2
(TBILISI)--Georgia’s Chief Prosecutor Irakli Shotadze says he is ready to meet with the family of late terrorism suspects Temirlan Machalikashvili in Tbilisi to inform them about the ongoing investigation.

The meeting is scheduled today at 1 pm, if the Mchalikashvili’s family accepts the offer.

The group of investigators studying the December 26 anti-terrorist raid in the country’s Muslim-populated Pankisi Gorge will be present to answer the family’s questions.

The Chief Prosecutor’s Office stated they are ready to inform the family about the existing stage of the investigation as the family claims Machalikashvili was mistakenly shot by a special unit serviceman during the operation.

Malkhaz Machalikashvili, father of Temirlan Machalikashvili who died after two weeks he was shot in the head, had demanded the meeting with the chief prosecutor.

However, he wanted the meeting to take place in Pankisi, not in Tbilisi, with the presence of the Pankisi Gorge elders, the most respected people in the area.

“As far as many [residents] from the gorge expressed their desire to meet with the prosecutor, we wanted Irakli Shotadze to arrive here. Now, I have been informed that only the family members are able to attend the meeting. We have not made any decision yet. I have not talked with my people. I will meet with elders, hear their opinion and perhaps, I will have a reply soon,”- Malkhaz Machalikashvili said.

Malkhaz Machalikashvili demands showing the evidence against his son, as he believes Temirlan Machalikashvili had nothing to do with the Islamic State terrorist Ahmed Chatayev, who was killed in Tbilisi during the November 22 anti-terrorist raid.

After the death of his son, Malkhaz Machalikashvili says that his only goal is to “remove the label of terrorist” from his deceased, 19-year-old son.

The Prosecutor’s Office released a video shortly after the Pankisi raid which depicts late Machalikashvili with the Chatayev group members.

The family says the video was allegedly recorded two years ago, when Chatayev’s allies freely walked in Tbilisi and Pankisi.

The December 26 raid in Pankisi saw four people detained for supporting terrorism; Machalikashvili was severely wounded in the head.

The 19-year-old man died prior to being transported to Turkey for treatment.

In total seven people have been detained in Tbilisi and Pankisi for supporting Chatayev, who, based on the State Security Service, planned attacks on Georgian and Turkish diplomats.

Including Machalikashvili, four suspects were killed during the November and December anti-terrorist raids.

One Georgian special unit serviceman was killed and four others wounded during the raids.