Three Ministry of Internal Affairs officers on trial for torture

Building of the Georgian Chief Prosecutors Office in Tbilisi; Photo by N. Alavidze /, 07 May 2015 - 18:50, Tbilisi,Georgia

Three officials from Georgia’s Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) are accused of unlawfully imprisoning and torturing youth, which carries a maximum prison sentence of 15 years.

Specifically, the three unnamed men face charges for ‘torturing youth military recruits’ alleged the Chief Prosecutors Office of Georgia.

Yesterday Tbilisi Court of Appeals accepted evidence submitted by the Prosecutor’s Office and charged the defendants – a platoon commander, squad commander and squad sergeant of the Special Tasks Department of the MIA - with pre-trial detention.

According to the Prosecutor’s Office, an investigation revealed the defendants had tortured three youth recruits who had been assigned to post at Bershueti village in the Gori district.

The Office claimed in July 2014 the three youth temporarily left their post, so the accused decided to intimidate and punish them. The MIA officials allegedly took the three victims to the basement of the barracks where they verbally and physically assaulted them. The accused beat the three young victims using their hands and legs, and made the victims kneel, after which the squad commander took out his service registered pistol and threatened to kill the three victims.

The mental, moral and physical torture lasted about 30 minutes, claimed the Prosecution.

After this, the three MIA officials used their rank to intimidate the victims. They then disregarded current rules and forced the young victims to stand at their post with full equipment of a soldier (weighing 25kg) for approximately 24 hours without changing shifts.

During this punishment, two of the victims could not withstand the "severe physical pain and mental anguish”, so refused to remain standing and left the territory of their post, the Prosecutor’s Office claimed.

If the three MIA officials are found guilty of the charges against them, they could face a prison sentence from nine to 15 years.