170 interrogated for possible abuse of power by police during Tbilisi rallies

The Georgian Chief Prosecutor’s Office has briefed the public regarding the investigation into the dispersal of the June 20 rally. Photo:  Nino Alavidze/Agenda.ge.

Agenda.ge, 04 Jul 2019 - 16:12, Tbilisi,Georgia

The Georgian Chief Prosecutor’s Office says that 170 people have been interrogated during an investigation looking into the possible use of excessive force during the June 20 rally dispersal in central Tbilisi.

The Prosecutor’s Office says that the 170 include witnesses, victims and employees of different media outlets who were at the scene during the incident.

We have obtained the medical histories of the victims from 15 hospitals, as well as rubber bullets used by police that night and other items. They are being studied by experts,” the statement reads.

The Prosecutor’s office says that they have requested footage from media outlets which depicts June 20 developments.

Protests in Tbilisi are going to an end. Photo: Nino Alavidze/Agenda.ge. 

We have hundreds of video clips and they are being studied,” the Prosecutor’s Office says.

10 police officers have been suspended from duty for possible abuse of power during the rally and the head of the Interior Ministry Special Tasks Department has been temporarily dismissed because of the investigation.

Rallies in Tbilisi were sparked after Russian MP Sergey Gavrilov took the seat of the Georgian parliamentary speaker early on June 20 and addressed the audience during the  Interparliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy.

People took to the streets as they believed that Gavrilov, from the occupant country, must not have been allowed to take the high tribune in the Georgian legislative body.

The government says that the “justified protest” of the Georgian people was used by the “destructive opposition” to attack state institutions.

Deputy Interior Minister Natia Mezvrishvili said earlier today that police were attacked during the rally and they were forced to defend themselves and use force, leaving 240 injured.

The opposition places the whole responsibility for the rallies onto the government and accuse the authorities of using lethal weapons, like bear bullets, during the dispersal, the allegation which is strongly dismissed by the state leadership.