09TBILISI1056, GEORGIA: MOIA RESPONDS TO INVESTIGATION

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09TBILISI1056 2009-06-08 15:02 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO3261
OO RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHNP RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHSI #1056 1591502
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 081502Z JUN 09
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1687
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L TBILISI 001056 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/04/2019 
TAGS: PGOV PHUM PREL GG
SUBJECT: GEORGIA: MOIA RESPONDS TO INVESTIGATION 
INFORMATION REQUESTS 
 
Classified By: AMBASSADOR JOHN F. TEFFT.  REASONS:  1.4 (B) AND (D). 
 
1.  (C) Summary/Comment:  Post continues to closely monitor 
claims of beatings, crime and other incidents surrounding the 
ongoing street protests in Tbilisi.  In response to our 
inquiries about 22 reported incidents, the Ministry of 
Internal Affairs (MoIA) sent a detailed list of all reported 
incidents and their status (post is currently translating 
this large document from Georgian into English).  Of the 22 
cases raised by Post, 13 have resulted in investigations; 
cases have not been opened in the other nine due to either a 
lack of a crime for which to be charged (3 cases) or a lack 
of a formal complaint from the alleged victim or victims (6 
cases).  The MoIA has also committed to provide post with 
updated information on protest related incidents on a 
continuing basis.  Post and MoIA have set up a direct channel 
to handle all Embassy requests and MoIA responses.  Post is 
also working closely with the Ombudsman's Office and 
opposition leaders on tracking incident reports and will 
continue to track, document and monitor all protest-related 
incidents.  End Summary/Comment. 
 
MoIA - Post Tracking Mechanism 
 
2.  (C)  Post has been tracking alleged violations as they 
appear in the press or are otherwise brought to Post's 
attention, often by representatives of the non-parliamentary 
opposition political groupings taking pat in the ongoing 
street protests.  As a result of Post's continuing requests 
for information, MoIA assigned the Deputy Head of the 
Analytical Department, Gela Kvashilava, to handle inquiries 
directly.  Post provided Kvashilava with a spreadsheet of 
incidents and requested updates on each case.  (Embassy Note: 
 Post will provide the Department with the updated 
spreadsheet.  End Note.)  Kvashilava provided a detailed 
summary of where each case currently stands.  Head of the 
Analytical Department, Shota Utiashvili, First Deputy 
Minister of Internal Affairs, Eka Zguladze, and Minister Vano 
Merabishvili all confirmed on different occasions that they 
would assist Post in its inquiries.  Post will continue to 
incorporate information it receives from MoIA, press reports, 
and the Ombudsman's office into its internal spreadsheet 
tracking the incidents. 
 
Victim Cooperation Not Always Forthcoming - Facts Often 
Unclear - Investigations Ongoing 
 
3.  (C)  A preliminary view of the data (we are translating 
the document from Georgian into English) shows that in a 
number of cases, alleged victims of violence have not pursued 
cases or have not cooperated with MoIA investigations.  In 
the much publicized case of Tengiz Beridze who was allegedly 
shot with an air rifle (both the non-parliamentary opposition 
and the Ombudsman alleged that MoIA officers were involved), 
Beridze and his attorneys have refused to cooperate in the 
investigation although an investigation is officially 
ongoing.  In other cases, it is unclear whether the reported 
incidents were related to protest actions or are simply the 
result of crimes of opportunity.  The Ombudsman's office is 
also tracking incidents in parallel with Post, and its data 
and findings will also be incorporated into Post's internal 
spreadsheet.  Post meets with the Ombudsman's office 
regularly to discuss protest-related incidents and stays in 
touch with the participants in the protests regarding their 
reports. 
 
4.  (C)  In all of the 22 cases into which Post has inquired, 
MoIA has initiated an investigation or explained the reasons 
why an investigation has not been pursued.  Of the 22 cases 
Post presented to MoIA (some represent multiple injured or 
QPost presented to MoIA (some represent multiple injured or 
aggrieved parties), 13 have resulted in investigations.  In 
the nine other cases, MOIA has not initiated a case.  In 
three of these cases, MoIA initiated no proceeding for lack 
of a crime for which to be charged.  Such cases included the 
much publicized incident of Nino Burjanadze's husband Badri 
Bitsadze handing out baseball bats; an MoIA employee 
allegedly throwing a water balloon in the vicinity of 
protesters; and a brief verbal scuffle between security 
guards and protesters who were attempting to drop garbage at 
city hall.  The remaining six cases have not been initiated 
because the alleged victims have not pursued them by filing a 
formal complaint.  The cases can still be pursued if the 
alleged victims choose to do so. 
TEFFT

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