News, Prisoner abuse

Prisoner abuse whistleblower returns to Georgia

by | Jan 18, 2013

Vladimer Bedukadze blew the whistle on the abuse of prisoners in Georgia. (Interpressnews.)

TBILISI, DFWatch — Police in Georgia Thursday morning detained former prison guard Vladimer Bedukadze at Tbilisi airport, as he arrived from Istanbul.

Bedukadze last year published five video clips documenting prisoner abuse, which caused a public outrage that led to the resignation of two ministers.

As he was sentenced to detention police detained him in the airport and moved to Prison No 8 in the Gldani district of Tbilisi, which is where most of the torture took place.

His lawyer Lali Aptsiauri said the detention took place peacefully. He said Bedukadze is in good spirits.

“He is ready to cooperate with the investigation and give testimony. He has additional footage of torture of prisoners and written evidence, which he will give to the accusing party,” the lawyer said.

Vladimer Bedukadze, who was an employee of Prison No 8, was informed about the impending detention, and it was his own decision to come to Georgia and cooperate with the investigation. His condition for returning was that an Interpol search warrant for him was suspended, which Georgia accommodated, after which Bedukadze returned.

It is still unknown when his first court hearing will be, but his lawyer plans to ask the court to release him on bail.

Bedukadze was Friday being questioned at Gldani Prison. His lawyer Elza Jmukhadze attended the process.

“As he returned to Georgia, he has much to say and he has evidence,” Jmukhadze said.


Relatives and friends of the former prison guard waited to greet him at the airport on Thursday, but due to his detention, he was unable to meet them.

Bedukadze is accused of mistreatment of prisoners. He was sentenced to detention in absentia.

September 19, two weeks before parliamentary election, several video clips were shown on Georgian TV and posted on the Internet. The footage showed verbal, physical and sexual abuse of prisoners by staff, and it is understood that Bedukadze filmed the videos.



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