TBILISI, DFWatch – Interpol has declared Vladimer Bedukadze a wanted person. He is the former prison guard who recently released videos of prison torture filmed by himself at Gldani prison in Tbilisi in 2011. These videos spurred a massive public reaction which led to two ministers resigning.
Bedukadze went to Belgium several months ago and has formally applied for political asylum, as he fears for his life after releasing the videos, which were damaging to the Saakashvili regime’s image abroad. During the last week, he has given interviews in Brussels and appeared on Georgian TV via Skype.
Interpol has issued an international red notice for Bedukadze. A red notice is a request for authorities to arrest a person with a view to extradition. However, it is not the same as an arrest warrant, as this lies outside of Interpol’s authority, and is the domain of the sovereign nation, in this case Belgium.
Meanwhile, four more have been arrested for mistreatment and torture in a prison in Kutaisi, the prosecutor’s office reports.
Among those arrested are Zurab Rukhaia, director of No 2 Facility, Davit Narsia, head of the same prison, Nikolos Vakhtangishvili and Giorgi Grdzelidze, inspectors at No 2 in Kutaisi.
Sixteen have so far been arrested since a handful of scandalous videos were aired on TV showing physical abuse and humiliating treatment of prisoners at different facilities in Georgia.