Police refutes Allegations
08 September, 2011


MIA finished investigation related to May events

A lot was said and written about the 25-26 May events. The crackdown by the Special Forces carried out at the five day-long protest rally, organized by the opposition on the main avenue of Georgian capital, ended in fatalities.

Several people were killed and hundreds sustained injuries. Quite a number of rally participants found themselves locked up in prisons. Among them were many public figures. Later they were recalling the horrors of the imprisonment.


During the

days that followed the crackdown, some hundred meters away from the main scene, law enforcers found two bodies, one of which belonged to Nika Kvintradze; he was lying on the roof of a supermarket. The officials immediately aired their version of the event and claimed that the two men tried to hide from the crackdown on the supermarket roof but accidentally received electric charges from the power lines and died.

Nika Kvintradze was participating in the rally, standing in front of the Parliamentary building. After the crackdown on the rally, his whereabouts were unknown for a time being. On 27 May, MIA released information that in the morning corpses of Nika Kvintradze and Suliko Asatiani were found on the roof of a supermarket situated in the vicinity of Metro station ‘Freedom Square’. MIA claimed that the two men were killed after they touched electric power lines. Later, media spread video and photographic material and a witness’ testimony who confirmed the fact that during the crackdown Nika Kvintradze was in the hands of the police. Accordingly, Media grew suspicious that actually, the poor men were not the victims of tragic accident. One of the alternative versions assumed that they actually died of torture and the police left them on the supermarket roof to cover up their guilt.

Several rally participants remembered that they saw the two men at the rally just before the crackdown. Subsequently, the media published a picture of the protest rally. Some people alleged that the picture showed one of the men found dead on the roof later on, which reinforced the suspicion that the two were the protesters who perished during the crackdown. Georgian law enforcers had to open the criminal case and launch the investigation. Few days ago, preliminary results of this investigation were published. Namely, Shota Utiashvili, Head of Analytical Department of Georgian MIA, announced that the person depicted on the picture was a resident of Kareli Giorgi Bakradze. He stated that they conducted the expertise which proved that Nika Kvintradze was electrocuted and that his post mortem autopsy did not reveal signs of inflicted physical injuries.

“In response to the voiced suspicion, we launched the investigation and discovered the identity of the arrested person shown on the picture. He turned out to be safe and sound. Accordingly, the case was closed. The problem is the photo on which Kvintradze was recognized by his friend. The video footage of the rally aired by Rustavi- 2 TV shows this friend, who is clearly identifiable, sitting next to Kvintradze. Kvintradze was wearing light blue shirt contrary to his friend’s assertion that Kvintradze was dressed in a jacket of different color,” Utiashvili opined.

Meanwhile, Georgian Young Lawyer’s Association (GYLA) has submitted the conclusion of the expertise conducted by British court bureau ‘DABS Fingerprints/Forensics’. The conclusion says that the arrested man from the rally crackdown picture is indeed Nika Kvintradze. GYLA Chair Tamar Chugoshvili stated that the expertise compared the photos of the arrested person at the 25-26 May rally and the Rustavi- 2 video footage with the photos of Nika Kvintradze taken in the police mortuary and ID card. As a result, 7 matches were found. Chugoshvili also noted that they obtained a testimony from one of the most important witnesses who said that he was present on the roof of that very supermarket in the early morning of May 26 but he had not seen any corpse there. This testimony contradicts the MIA version that the body of Nika Kvintradze was lying on that roof since the time of the rally. All these led Chugoshvili to believe that Kvintradze was dead when his body was dragged to the roof a day later.


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