21 July, 2011

‘They threatened to carry out reprisal to the other inmate on the spot’

At the actions supporting the arrested photo correspondents, almost every day I used to meet Nestan Neidze, wife of my colleague Giorgi Abdaladze who is accused of espionage. We tried to remember every detail of Giorgi’s activity that could serve as a reason for accusing him in actions resembling spying. Fortunately we couldn’t find anything to get hold on. Then I asked Nestan to recall the day when

her husband was arrested.

Nestan Neidze: It was dawn of July 7 and my birthday was coming. Gia came home late. It was after 1 o’clock at night. He brought me a big bouquet of flowers, woke me up and took photos of me embracing our child and bouquet. Then we went to bed. Soon in my dream I heard the doorbell. When I looked at the clock it was after 2 o’clock. Gia went to open the door and in two minutes he returned accompanied by 2-3 men. They told him to dress and followed him into the room. They were dressed in plain clothes, behaved very correctly and calmly. Four of them were task force members and the fifth one – the investigator of counter-intelligence. I asked what the charge was and they said Giorgi knew everything. Gia was hurrying to the module because he was sure he’d return soon. Then they told us that Gia was accused of espionage. It sounded so absurd that I couldn’t help laughing. I thought everything would be clarified in a couple of hours.

Q.- It’s often said that they were punished because of spreading  May 26 night photos.

A.- Irakli Gedenidze was punished for this and even very seriously. So, he couldn’t be a lonely spy… Gia wrote to me in his first letter that he thought it was connected with May 26.

Q.- Gia told me that he took Nika Kvintradze’s photo with his hands tied and he seemed alive. Later this photo was shown in Nana Lezhava’s show.

A.- Irakli too had that photo so nobody can say outright whether it belongs to Irakli or Giorgi. Irakli spread the best shots through Reuter but without indicating his name. If Stinger doesn’t want to display identity, Reuter keeps it secret. The most gory shots were made by Irakli. He gave to Zura whatever was left there after sending the material to Reuter and he sent it to EPA, his agency. Gia’s photos are permanently at ‘Associated Press’ and from there the May 26 photos were published in the ‘New York Times’, the Washington Post’ and other serious publications. It seems that after publishing of the photos they began to clarify through whom the shots were spread to ‘Reuter’ and the names of all reporters who were working that night became known.

Q. – I asked him for Kvintradze’ photo but he refused. He always gave everything to ‘ Kviris Palitra’. He said it wouldn’t be right.

A. – He also remembered that somebody called him and asked for that photo but he said he had deleted it.

Q. – How does he send his letters?

A. – When he was in the module he wrote them himself but now the lawyer remembers the text and retells us orally. Gia’s confession amazed me. I prayed for him to keep mum to the end. It’s hard to imagine what’s going on inside there. As they say they are under awful pressure. Lately the events are unfolding very strangely. First, the jail administration refused Eka Beselia to visit him saying that Giorgi declined her candidacy and she was no more his lawyer. Eka demanded that Giorgi say it himself. When they met it turned out that he didn’t reject her. Now they say that he confessed but the lawyers met him shortly before confession and he said he wasn’t going to break but suddenly a miracle happened – in five minutes the lawyers were taken back to him, some people with cameras entered the room and Giorgi started talking indistinctly. The lawyers are amazed as well as me…

What were the discrepancies of confession made by photo reporter Giorgi Abdaladze accused of espionage? Eka Beseia who is convinced that the confession was made as a result of pressure on part of the investigator talked to ‘Kviris Palitra’.

Eka Beselia: I had an impression that Gia Abdaladze’s confession was gained through pressure. The day before when I visited him the prison administration didn’t let me in saying that Abdaladze was requesting my rejection. I thought that exactly at that time he was being under pressure. I still managed to see him that day. He told me that Kurtsikidze’s testimony subdued him greatly. He got interested in my point of view regarding this matter. I advised him not to confess in anything as he didn’t commit any crime. He promised me to act accordingly. I left the place at about 11. I think they continued exerting pressure on Gia through the whole night. Probably they made him change his mind then. The next day the investigator started examination. The videos were switched on. I sensed that something was wrong and demanded the examination without the videos. But Gia refused; probably he already knew what he was expected to say. I required to be left eye to eye with him in order to hold consultation. We were allowed. We talked for ten minutes and Gia said again that he wasn’t going to make any confession. As soon as the interrogation started first he said he didn’t admit guilt, then he said he partially admitted it and at the end he said he basically admitted his guilt. I immediately demanded to enter in the minutes as a remark that the accused pronounced mutually exclusive sentences. I had an impression that Gia repeated the already agreed text, the very one that the investigation wanted.

Q. – But still, what did he say before confession?

E.B. – He said that when still working for ‘Kviris Palitra’ he went to Ergneti to take photos. The Ossetians caught and beat him savagely in Tskhinvali prison. They showed him the photos of his family members and said they would have problems. They made him sign a document but he didn’t remember what it was. To make a long story short, he talked about such foolish things. For instance, he said he was giving the photo material to Kurtsikidze and he in his turn was giving it to FSB or KGB. I required to enter in the minutes that he couldn’t tell FSB from KGB and what’s more he didn’t know that KGB was abolished so what kind of an agent he was. The next absurd he said was that he attended the meetings of the first persons of the State and Ministry of defense, shot photos, listened to their conversation and then sent the shorthand report. According to protocol during high level meetings a photo reporter has to take photos and leave the place. Nobody will speak in his presence.

This way or that way I managed to ask Abdaladze important questions that are still in the minutes. ‘Do you admit that before starting of the interrogation you told me that you were not going to make any confessions’, I asked and he agreed. ‘Do you exclude that you were committing spying crime?’, he said he excluded it. There are entries in the minutes that give him a chance to confirm that he gave evidence under pressure, in case some day he has the power of making such confession.

Q. – But still, do you know what kind of pressure was used on him?

E.B. – I know that he was threatened that they would carry out reprisal to an inmate on the spot. This had great influence on Giorgi.

Q. – Did they threaten him to use pressure on his family members?

E.B. – I don’t really know about it. I can tell you one thing – Giorgi Abdaladze asked me to tell his wife to be on her guard.

Other Stories
Tbilisi sign may appear on the Funicular hill
Hollywood has become a source of inspiration for many people worldwide. A similar idea from a Tbilisi citizen sounds very clever and attractive.
Russia was at an undeclared war with Georgia for years - Matthew Bryza
I think anybody who has observed how Russia has been conducting its war in Ukraine should realize that Russia was at war with Georgia, an undeclared war for years,
Tbilisi Park is due to open in Buenos-Aires
Tbilisi Park is due to open in the capital of Argentina, Buenos-Aires. The decision was recently made by the city parliament.
Young people detained by occupying forces in the Truso gorge
Some young Georgian hikers have recently been detained by armed forces in the Truso gorge. They have been accused of illegally crossing the so-called border into the occupied Tskhinvali region.
Wildfire in Khashuri, Tseda village
Fire broke out yesterday in Khashuri, Tseda village, in the forest.
Travel between Ukraine and Georgia for both countries’ citizens to be allowed only by electronic ID cards
The Prime Minister of Georgia Mamuka Bakhtadze has announced that the citizens of Georgia and Ukraine will be able to travel in and out of both countries using only electronic ID cards.
Why does the Georgians love John McCain?
John McCain, Senator, and former Presidential candidate of the USA died on the 25th of August, 2018. He was diagnosed with lioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer last year.
The IBSU Conundrum
Teachers, students and students-to-be all took to the streets when the news broke that the International Black Sea University, one of the most highly regarded universities in the country, wouldn’t be admitting new students into its ranks this year.
Angela Merkel arrives in Georgia
German chancellor Angela Merkel has already arrived in Georgia.
German media about possible reasons for  Merkel’s visit to Georgia
As German Chancellor Angela Merkel visits Tbilisi today, expectations are high and both the Georgian and German media are speculating about the possible results of the visit.
Angela Merkel to visit Georgia on August 23
German Chancellor Angela Merkel will visit Georgia on the 23rd of August. Her plan is to visit the Caucasus states of Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan.
Georgian presidential candidate to Journalists –“Shake your brain!”
“Journalists should shake their brains” – said Georgian presidential candidate, Salome Zurabishvili to journalists.
What does Giorgi Margvelashvili own?
The presidential election will be held on 28th of October, 2018 in Georgia. The President Giorgi Margvelashvili has not yet confirmed his participation in the election.
"Father returned for mother ... then the bomb landed …”
10 years on, this is a different August. But this month is a time of remembrance and of hard memories and hurt.
The World talks about the 2008 war
On the tenth anniversary of the 2008 war between Russia and Georgia, 20% of Georgia continues to be occupied by Russian military forces who also seem intent of further encroachment on Georgian territory.
Georgia hosts high ranking guests for the 10th anniversary of the 2008 war
Ten years have passed since the Russian military intervention in Georgia,in August, 2008.
 10 Years Anniversary of the EU Monitoring Mission in Georgia – “Mission supports stability and security on the ground”
10 years have now passed since the August 2008 war between Georgia and Russia and still we face a huge daily threat. Certain parts of Georgia continue to be occupied even today.
Heroin seized near Georgia-Azerbaijan State Border
Border Police from the Georgian Ministry of Internal Affairs have arrested a 28 year old individual.
After ten years from the 2008 war, borderization continues
It is ten years since the 2008 August war between Russia and Georgia.
Multinational Noble Partner training 2018 has launched
The multinational Noble Partner training 2018 commenced on the 1st of August.
National Democratic Institute publishes the latest survey
Poll results released today by the National Democratic Institute (NDI) and CRRC Georgia show growing dissatisfaction about the state of the country’s economy, environment, and political climate going into the presidential election.
Georgian Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze needs 5 more Regional Governors
At a recent Government press conference Mamuka Bakhtadze, the Prime Minister of Georgia, announced that new Governors for the following regions are required:
German government plans to recognize Georgia among safe countries
The German government will shortly approve a law, which enables the countries such as Georgia, Tunisia, Morocco and Algeria to be recognized as safe countries
Latvian MEP Andrejs Mamikins about Georgia’s prospects for EU membership
Georgia is a country that wants to become member of the EU, but how does it look from Brussels?
Military equipment and techniques created by Georgians
Delta is a Military, Scientific and Technical Provider.
Exchange Rates
GEL Exchange Rate
Other Stories
On 26 May, Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, joined celebrations in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi
Violation of Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity by Assad regime has been strictly criticized
Exactly one year ago, Georgia was granted visa-free travel with the European Union.
Georgia’s ex-president president Mikheil Saakashvili's supporters managed to free detained Mikheil Saakashvili in the center of Kiev.
The US Ambassador to Georgia Ian Kelly congratulates Georgia on Independence Day.
The regulations on the introduction of visa-free travel for citizens of Georgia have been officially signed in Brussels.
The entire Georgia is involved in Secret Santa game, which means that people are sending gifts to each other secretly
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia is taking part in NATO Ministerial underway in Brussels, Belgium.
A special squad has been mobilized at the 48th polling station in Marneuli, Kvemo Kartli region.
Two politicians in Georgia have come to blows during a live TV debate ahead of the country’s parliamentary elections, Euronews reports.
GEL Exchange