TBILISI, DFWatch–Tbilisi City Court releasing six policemen on bail who were detained for fabricating evidence to build a case against Interior Minister Irakli Gharibashvili’s father-in-law, Tamaz Tamazashvili.
The six are charged with planting a weapon on Tamazashvili to facilitate his arrest in October 2011, and they have until now been kept in pre-trial detention.
On Friday, Tbilisi City Court released them on GEL 1 000 (USD 600) bail each. The decision was made after the prosecutor asked to change the decision to keep them in detention and instead release them on bail, due to their family conditions.
Lawyers for the defendants agreed, and the judge rule that they would be released on bail.
Prosecutor Ia Darjania claims that all six former policemen Givi Krachenko, Grigol Kvinikadze, Zaza Chaia, Vladimer Gamrekelashvili, Gocha Chitaia and Gocha Baghartishvili admit guilt and are cooperating with the investigation.
According to investigators, interior ministry officials instructed them to place a weapon and ammunition, and go through with the set-up. The detainees have ten days to pay the bail money. None of them wanted to comment to the media, but their lawyers thanked Tamaz Tamazashvili for being ‘generous.’
Darejan Silagadze, one of the lawyers for the policemen, said much depends on the victim right now.
“My client committed a horrible crime. An innocent person had to spend one year in jail in those well-known conditions because of fraudulent documents,” she said after leaving the courtroom.
“Despite this, Tamazashvili as an Orthodox man forgave them. I’m sure this crime was planned from the top.”
Tamaz Tamazashvili was detained in October 2011, shortly after billionaire businessman Bidzina Ivanishvili went into politics. The arrest was seen as politically motivated. He was sentenced to three and a half years in prison.
When videos were released before the parliamentary election in October 2012, documenting Abu Ghraib-style abuse, the Saakashvili regime claimed that the videos were staged and had been made by order of Tamazashvili.
After the change of government, Tamazashvili was one of the first prisoners to be released.
The six policemen who were involved in his arrest were detained on May 24, 2013. In the beginning they didn’t admit guilt, but accused the Prosecutor’s Office of pressuring them. But all six eventually admitted guilt and later expressed readiness to cooperate with the investigation.
The pretrial hearing in the case is scheduled for August 26.