Oleg Melnikov, former officer of the Interior Ministry’s Department for Constitutional Security (DCS) who is wanted in Georgia for charges related to exceeding official power committed with the use of violence, was arrested in Kiev on December 7, the Georgian Interior Ministry said on Saturday.
Criminal charges were brought against Melnikov a week ago for allegedly beating up police officers almost eight years ago.
Data Akhalaia, former head of Interior Ministry’s Department for Constitutional Security (DCS); former deputy head of DCS Soso Topuridze and a former officer from the same department Geronti (Gia) Alania are also wanted by the Georgian law enforcement agencies for the same case of alleged beating of police officers in January, 2005; none of them are now in Georgia, according to the authorities.
One of them, Gia Alania, was among those four DCS officers who were convicted in connection to high-profile murder case of Sandro Girgvliani and then released in 2009 after pardon. Allegations persist that at the time investigation covered up possible involvement of Oleg Melnikov and Data Akhalaia in Girgvliani murder case, which occurred in 2006 in Tbilisi outskirts shortly after Sandro Girgvliani insulted one of the interior ministry officials in downtown Tbilisi café where Data Akhalaia and wife of then interior minister Vano Merabishvili were also present. The prosecutor’s office is now re-investigating this case.
The Interior Ministry said that proceedings had been launched to extradite Melnikov to Georgia.