Former Gov’t officials found guilty of torture

Kardava was named on Interpol’s wanted list in connection to a number of criminal charges. Photo by, 27 Jan 2014 - 15:21, Tbilisi,Georgia

Former Interior Ministry senior official Megis Kardava has been found guilty of torturing and abusing a prisoner.

Today in Tbilisi City Court, Kardava was sentenced to nine years imprisonment for torturing Davit Londaridze in 2011 and forcing him to confess to espionage. Once he is released, Kardava will not be allowed to fill a post for two years.

Kardava was named on Interpol’s wanted list upon the request of Georgian authorities in connection to a number of other criminal charges.

The Prosecutor’s Office said in 2011 the victim was taken to a police station where he was tortured by Kardava and Aleksandre Mukhadze, the former head of the prison No.8 in Tbilisi. The pair forced Londaridze to confess to spying, in allegiance with Russia. The victim was a Military Officer at the Ministry of Defence.

Mukhadze, who is also facing other criminal charges, has also been named on Interpol’s wanted list upon the request of Georgian authorities.

In Court, the Prosecutor said that the supposed confession of Londaridze became the basis for detaining and convicting 57-year-old Sergo Tetradze of espionage. In September 2011 after one week in detention, Tetradze died in prison.

According to Prosecutor’s Office, Tetradze was tortured several times in prison and was forced to confess to espionage. He died as a result of the inhuman treatment.

Meanwhile the Court found Kardava not guilty of torture and abuse of Tetradze.

Today, the Prosecutor’s Office announced plans to appeal the Tbilisi City Court’s verdict in the Appellate Court.

In Court today, three other former high officials were found guilty of torture.

Former head of the Security Department of Facility No.8 of the Department of Corrections Victor Kacheishvili, former head of the Division of Legal processes of the same facility Oleg Patsatsaia, and No.8 Prison director Aleksandre Mukhadze were found guilty of torture and abuse of Tetradze and were sentenced to nine years in jail.

The trio will not be allowed to fill a post for three years following their release.

Furthermore, the country’s former deputy head of Regional Criminal Police of Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti, Kokhta Kodua, and the chairman of the Regional Criminal Police Department, Tornike Gunava, were sentenced to six years imprisonment and ex-chief inspector-investigator Zviad Kapanadze was sentences to two years in jail for torturing Teteradze.

This month, criminal charges involving torturing a man to death and forcing him to confess to terrorism in 2011, were filed against Kardava.

These new charges related to the case of Eldar Kobalia, a 21-year-old man who was detained by police on April 2, 2011 in the Samegrelo region and who died nine days later while in a Tbilisi prison.

At the police station, it is alleged Kardava and other unidentified people tried to force Kobalia to plead guilty to a charge of preparing a terrorist act. If the suspects are found guilty of the latest charges, Kardava will face a sentence of nine to 15 years imprisonment.