Defence Ministry ready to involve independent experts in Krtsanisi centre investigation

NATO-Georgian Joint Training and Evaluation Center at the Krtsanisi National Military Training Centre in Tbilisi. Photo from, 25 Oct 2016 - 18:48, Tbilisi,Georgia

News of an attempted break-in to the country's national military centre and the subsequent death of one of the assailants has spread throughout Georgia and further afar, generating high public and international interest into the case.

Due to the high interest, Georgia’s Ministry of Defence said it welcomed the inclusion of independent experts in the investigation of the attempted break-in of the Krtsanisi National Training Centre in the early hours of October 23.

The Ministry said it was also ready to let an alternative examination be carried out, and to let family members of the killed man visit the centre, check the site of the incident and learn what exactly happened and how police reacted.

The Defence Ministry stressed it was actively cooperating with the Security Service of the United States Embassy in Georgia. The investigation was also being monitored by the local Public Defender’s Office.

Attempted break-in

Three people reportedly tried to break in to the Krtsanisi National Training Centre at the Krtsanisi settlement, a short distance outside Georgia’s capital Tbilisi about 3.30am on October 23.

Krtsanisi centre is one of the most important military facilities in the country and the place where the NATO-Georgia Joint Training and Evaluation Centre is located.

The incident claimed the life of a 23-year-old man, who allegedly was shot as he attempted to flee the scene after provoking the security guard outside the centre. 

The man's family said they did not believe the Ministry’s version of events and they demanded a transparent investigation to be conducted. They also believed that their son would never attempt a crime he was allegedly involved in and said if it was misunderstanding it could be handled without any shots being fired.

Meanwhile the Defence Ministry said the attackers were aggressive, did not obey a legal request from a security guard and subsequently, the guard fired in their direction. The guard's actions were fully in line with regulations, said the Ministry.

An investigation was launched into the case for "negligence that resulted in a person's death”. Police were now searching for the other two offenders involved.

Public Defender: No signs of human right violation

Georgia’s Public Defender Ucha Nanuashvili started looking into the case today to try to identify any possible violations by the state, particularly the actions of the security guard. 

Nanuashvili met the guard who fired the fatal shot that killed one of the alleged offenders. Afterwards he said so far there were no signs of abuse of power.

So far we don’t see that there was anything that violated human rights,” the Public Defender said.
An investigation is underway and we should wait for it to end before commenting or speculating.”