Law
TORTURE WAS RECORDED ON VIDEO
12 September, 2013
TORTURE WAS RECORDED ON  VIDEO
The Former inmate Gia Alavidze may appear before us as the main witness of the cases of Sandro Girgvliani (the much-talked-of killing during the rule of previous Government), Vano Merabishvili, Akhalaia and even that of Ex-Premier Zurab Zhvania’s obscure assassination. He left the prison quite recently. Here is an exclusive interview with him.
Gia Alavidze: - On 27 December 2005, I was arrested on charges of bribery by the Department of Constitutional Security, the Department members
of which were convicted of Sandro Girgvliani’s case.
Q. – Who did you take the bribe from?
A. – High ranking officials of the above mentioned DCS sent me a person who asked me to help him with something. I promised him to be a mediator with a certain prosecutor. Afterwards I found out that he was sent to secretly shoot our meeting. All this was part of PR but later, for some reason, they changed their mind to air the stuff… The most interesting story began in the tenth prison of Avchala after Interior Ministry functionaries (who had arrested me) were brought there. The administration specially repaired and equipped a room for them. They enjoyed all the rights; they could even go out in a car. The DSC employees convicted in the Girgvliani case began to pretend as “good guys” sometimes permitting other inmates to use their mobile phones. Initially, I established close relations with Mikheil Bibiluri who didn’t participate in my case. In order to gain more trust I asked him to take my brother as a driver for his family. He agreed and gradually I learnt who paid visits to them. I won’t talk much now; I’ll only tell you that one day I got a hold of the processor of the computer that was used by those convicted for Girgvliani’s assassination. ..I passed very interesting, secret stuff over to the Prosecutor’s Office.
Q. – Did it contain the recording of pastime of those convicted for Girgvliani’s killing?
A. – No, I was shooting it myself. .. I’ll say nothing about it till the investigation starts action.
Q. – Just give us a hint …
A. – It was an operational material containing information about what was done to people before and after their arrests … There were secret recordings too.
Q. – You also said that a part of videos exposing Girgvliani’s killing is kept abroad.
A. – Yes, I myself told the investigation where the videos might be kept but for some reason the Prosecutor’s Office didn’t investigate it. I know that Sandro Girgvliani’s and Levan Bukhaidze’s torture was shot on video.
Q. – One of the newspapers published testimonies by Davit Chkhatarashvili and Davit Kokiashvili, former senior officials of Interior Ministry, in which it is said that when Bukhaidze and Girgvliani were thrown out of the car they fell down on the snow on their bellies so that they didn’t even resist.
A. – Why don’t they tell us what happened afterwards? They say that they saw nothing else… All this is continuation of lies; they are still giving old testimonies. You know what comes out of this? These guys went to the investigator saying that they were ready for cooperation but actually they are consolidating the old version. Lawyer of Chkhitunidze (a close person to those convicted of Girgvliani’s killing) says that his defendant has no connection with this case. Let me confront Chkhitunidze and I’ll tell him how he was connected with this case and present evidences – when and under what circumstances the car that belonged to him (showing the number plate) was on the move. The investigation based the accusation episodes on various high ranking people like Chkhitunidze appearing on the video supplied to Natia Mikiashvili. But I have no idea why don’t they show the material kept in the processor. One week ahead of leaving the prison I told the Prosecutor’s Office to return my video in case they weren’t going to carry out investigation; they wrote to me that its examination wasn’t done yet.
Q. – How do you explain the fact that Prosecutor’s Office didn’t make a due reaction?
A. – (Laughing) I don’t know; probably they know more.
Q. – Gia, is it true that during the 2008 war the Girgvliani’s assassins were taken out of the #10 prison?
A. – Yes, it is. Bacho Akhalaia and Kakha Butskhrikidze came twice and declared that they’d take to war everybody who had at least some idea about weapons. Certainly, many of the inmates volunteered. So, those convicted of Girgvliani’s assassination drew a 130-men-strong list in which they included attempted terrorist act convicts of Shevardnadze’s times, former guerillas, etc. Finally they took out only these four men; the others were brought back on August 28. In short, they cheated everybody else.
Q. – While in prison, you sent me a letter and informed that you had some information about the assassination of PM Zurab Zhvania.
A. – Yes, I was interrogated on this case too. I presented a reprint of telephone numbers; they asked me about some of them if I knew them. This part of investigation is connected with calls made from telephones of those people who were convicted of the Girgvliani’s case. I can’t say that they directly participated in this assassination. They just “cleared” the situation before a high official arrived there.
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