POLITICS
Killed by Power Line or by Police Truncheon?
02 June, 2011

 

Statement by friend of the dead men found on the supermarket roof turned the story upside down

After the fateful 25 May night crackdown, which originally claimed lives of two people, corpses of two more persons were found in the area of Rustaveli Avenue. According to the official information, the two men fell victim of bare power lines while standing on the roof of a small market in that rainy night. Later, ‘Kviris Reportazhi’ (Weekly Report) program of Maestro TV Company set the

stage for a major U-turn in the investigation. Most notably, the official report spread by MIA came under the big question mark.

Friends of Nika Kvintradze, who was found lying dead on the roof of a small supermarket near the Freedom Square Metro station, are convinced that he was beaten to death by MIA officers. They base their judgment on the media images available in the Internet where their dead friend appears alive. According to the Weekly Report program, one of the protest rally participants – Rezo Rekhviashvili - asserts that he saw Kvintradze at the rally that night. He recognized Kvintradze among the protesters depicted on one of the Internet photos. Rekhviashvili said the photos clearly showed that the man with tied hands and feet lying on the rainy ground under the boots of the Special Force officers but looking still alive was his friend Nika Kvintradze.

It must be noted that the family of the dead man does not comment on these facts. Their neighbors account this silence for the delicate situation around the son of Nika Kvintradze who is in prison with only five remaining months before his release. According to MIA information, one more man found near the body of Nika Kvintradze was Suliko Asatiani.

How the dead handcuffed man turned up on the roof of a market is something of a mystery as the official investigation did not even try to explain it (some eye-witnesses say the man was handcuffed when his dead body was found on the roof).  Rezo Rekhviashvili has the answer to it. He claims Niko Kvintradze was beaten to death by the law enforcers and then his body was thrown on to the market roof.

Koba Davitashvili, one of the leaders of the National Council, states that Niko Kvintradze was assassinated. He already submitted photographic material about this tragedy to the diplomatic corps.

“We presented the photomaterial [to them]. It shows clearly that Kvintradze’s hands were tied but he himself was alive, plastered on the ground. It seems he was transferred to a detention center only to be tortured to death. To cover the crime up, [law enforcers] threw the Kvintradze’s corpse on the roof of one of the markets at the Freedom Square underground station and said that he died due to an accident.”

Rezo Rekhviashvili, a friend of Nika Kvintradze, says that Kvintradze was participating in the protest rally together with him and disappeared during the violent crackdown on the protesters when the rally dispersed chaotically.

“The last time I saw Nika was when he was sprawled on the ground and was being beaten by the Special Forces with clubs and boots. I was in the similar situation.”

It is worth noting also that after this information was reported by media, the Prosecutor’s Office took Rekhviashvili away from home for 3-hour long questioning.

Sadly, Nika Kvintradze’s father died from heart attack after hearing about his son’s death. As the neighbors of the deceased Nika Kvintradze say, the family is not talking on this subject with them either. They assume the family will not press for the case because Nika Kvintradze’s son is a prisoner whose term should be over in five months.

One of the persons close to the family insists that there is no point in conducting a repeated expertise because the experts would confirm the official version.

According to the Weekly Report program, Kvintradze died in the evening of 27 May. The program quotes the commentary of an independent expert Aleksandre Gejadze who said that at the time the corpse did not have specific spots that characterize dead bodies. He maintained that at the time of video recording of the scene where the  body was found, i.e. on 27 May, Kvintradze had been dead for five hours at most because his body did not show the spots which normally appear 3-4 hours after the death.

 

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