TBILISI, DFWatch — Five policemen who were involved in one of the controversial cases against officials in Georgia have been dismissed.
The five were based at the Central Criminal Police Department and carried out the first detention of Tengiz Gunava, a former Interior Ministry official. The charges were illegal possession of a weapon and drug abuse.
Gunava was head of the general inspection at the Interior Ministry, a position he was appointed to after Bacho Akhalaia became minister, in August of 2012, and resigned shortly after Akhalaia resigned a month later as revelations of prisoner mistreatment enraged Georgians.
After his first detention, Gunava was released on bail. Many people questioned the case. The accused said the weapon and drugs were placed on him while he was in detention, a way of framing a person which the previous government was frequently criticized of using.
Upon his release, Gunava filed a complaint with the Prosecutor’s Office against the detectives and investigators at the Criminal Police Department. He claims that the drugs and the weapon were planted on him, and further that he was forced to drink a mixture of water and drugs.
Later, Gunava was detained again, this time for appropriation of petrol worth USD 4 066 and illegally receiving USD 36 000. The court once again released him on bail.
Representatives of the National Movement party claim what has happened to Gunava is political persecution and revenge.
But law enforcement bodies draw a distinction between the first and second detention, and say the first one is being studied.
Friday, the Interior Ministry released a statement which says that the general inspection is finished checking the case of Tengiz Gunava’s detention, based on which the minister made a decision to fire five employees of the Criminal Police Department.
The general inspection at the Justice Ministry is also investigating this issue. Justice Minister Tea Tsulukiani has previously expressed concern about the grounds for detaining Gunava the first time.
Gunava himself demands that those who ordered the policemen to do what they did are punished and says he will fight till the end.
“Those who gave the orders are Interior Minister Irakli Gharibashvili and the head of the Criminal Police Department,” he claims.
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