Police chief detained after allegedly beating lawyer

Chief Prosecutor's Office of Georgia in Tbilisi. Photo by N. Alavidze / Agenda.ge
Agenda.ge, 14 Nov 2015 - 15:22, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgian law enforcers have detained a chief of one of Tbilisi's police stations for allegedly beating a lawyer at the police building.

Georgia’s Chief Prosecutor’s Office said in a statement yesterday head of Vake-Saburtalo police station #5 Lasha Kvirkvaia was detained for alleged "abuse of power at work committed by use of violence”.

Earlier lawyer from the state-funded Legal Aid Service Giorgi Mdinaradze said he was beaten by police officers after he told them his client - a detained juvenile - would exercise his right to silence at the police station on November 8.

Mdinaradze said he was handcuffed then beaten by about five police officers, including the chief of the police station, which resulted in him being taken to hospital with minor injuries.

The Chief Prosecutor’s Office said within the investigation into the case 18 witnesses were interrogated, the crime scene was reviewed and an investigative experiment was conducted at the police department.

"The Prosecutor’s Office plans within the deadline appointed by law to charge the detained with a crime and to petition to the court for incarceration of the accused, after what it will provide more detailed information to society regarding the factual circumstances of the case,” the statement read.

At this stage the investigation was continuing under an article of Georgia's Penal Code, where if found guilty, the accused will face five to eight years imprisonment.

The lawyer welcomed the actions of the Prosecutor’s Office but said other "offenders” also needed to face justice.

Meanwhile Justice Minister Thea Tsulukiani said beating of a lawyer by a police officer was an "unimaginable violation” and a "shocking fact” especially when "we build strong institutions”.

"Launching an investigation is good but not enough. Those who dared to do this need to be strictly and exemplarily punished,” she said.