A group of nine local Georgian civil society organizations, including Human Rights and Monitoring Center (EMC), Georgian Democracy Initiative (GDI), Transparency International Georgia (TI) and International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy (ISFED) released a statement on January 9, calling on the State Inspector Office to investigate the case of 24-year-old Murad Tsurtsumia.
The group explained that according to the Law of Georgia on the State Inspector Service, the crimes involving torture, threat of torture and humiliating or inhuman treatment committed by police officers, as well as the crimes committed by police officers resulting in a person’s death should be investigated by the State Inspector.
The CSOs also noted that the Deputy State Inspector has the right to request the case from the investigative agencies for further probing. In case of refusal, the State Inspector is authorized to send a letter to the Prosecutor’s Office and demand case transfer.
The CSOs also claimed that all the circumstances into the case should be clarified in frames of investigation and that “it is important that investigation is carried out by the agency which enjoys more trust.”
The local civil society organizations explained that they do not agree with the State Inspector’s remarks that “since the Prosecutor’s Office is investigating the case under other articles, they cannot conduct investigation as it goes beyond their competence.”
The group also noted that the State Inspector is authorized to familiarize with case materials and apply to the Prosecutor’s Office with the request to transfer the cases in order to avoid their consideration by other investigative agencies through granting incorrect or disputable qualification to them.
The CSOs called on the State Inspector to use all available levers at disposal to investigate the case. Moreover, they also called on the Prosecutor’s Office to immediately transfer the case to the State Inspector Office.