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PM Vows to Familiarize Himself with Machalikashvili Case

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Wednesday, June 6
The Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili vowed to learn the details of the high-profile case of Temirlan Machalikashvili, 19-year-old youngster from Georgia’s Muslim-Populated Pankisi Gorge, who received a deadly injury in his head during the anti-terrorist raid last year.

Malkhaz Machlikashvili announced large-scale rallies against the government on Saturday, as soon as Ramadan is over.

The PM offered condolences to Machalikashvili and said that the Georgian government has never refused to meet with its people, the PM’s administration reported.

He promised Machalikashvili that he will study the case details and that the Georgian Dream leadership will take further steps to support Chechen and Kist residents of the Pankisi Gorge, the press office said.

Malkhaz Machalikashvili's lawyer Mariam Kublashvili confirmed after the meeting that the prime minister will once again personally investigate the details of the case.

“We do not have a specific result that the offender will be punished tomorrow, but we have the promise that all our demands will be studied and responded if there is a ground for it,” Kublashvili said.

The lawyer said that in the case their demands are not met, they will hold large-scale rallies.

“Our demand is unchanged, offenders must be held accountable. The Prime Minister has a reasonable term - 10-14 days," said the lawyer.

Temirlan Machalikashvili died on January 10, 2018 from the severe head injury he received during the December 26 raid.

The Pankisi raid came after the large-scale anti-terrorist operation in Tbilisi on November 21-22, which saw Islamic State terrorist Akhmed Chatayev and his two accomplices killed and one detained.

Georgia’s State Security Service claims Chatayev and his group planned attacks on diplomats in Turkey and Georgia.

The December raid in Pankisi aimed at detaining the people who supported Chatayev to come to Georgia, buy weapons and find an accommodation, security officials stated.

During the Pankisi raid Machalikashvili was wounded and four others were detained for alleged support for terrorism, envisaging 17-20 years in prison or life imprisonment.

The Machalikashvili family is sure Temirlan was killed mistakenly and they intend to file a lawsuit at the European Court of Human Rights.

Based on unofficial information, more than 25 youngsters from Pankisi have been killed as warriors of the terrorist organization-Islamic State.