19-year-old Temirlan Machalikashvili, who was accused of supporting terrorists, died early today at a hospital in capital Tbilisi, after about two weeks of being in a coma.
Machalikashvili was wounded by law enforcers on December 26 during an anti-terrorist raid in the country’s Muslim-populated Pankisi Gorge.
From five suspects only Machalikashvili was wounded as he intended to use a hand grenade when the special unit servicemen rushed into his house, Georgia’s State Security Service says.
Doctors told the media that the young man suffered from a severe head injury and the government of Georgia planned to transport him to Turkey for better treatment in the coming hours.
The family of the deceased man dismisses any links with terrorists and claims Machalikashvili was mistakenly shot by a law enforcer, as the letter could not differentiate a mobile phone from a hand grenade.
Georgia’s State Security Service says they have evidence proving Machalikashvili’s connections with the Islamic State terrorist Ahmed Chatayev, who blew himself up in Tbilisi on November 22, during a counter-terrorism operation.
The Security Service released a video, depicting Machalikashvili with Chatayev’s allies in Tbilisi.
Georgia’s Public Defender Nino Lomjaria vowed she would take all measures to specify all details of the case.
Chronology of events