The Coalition for Equality, a group of ten civil society organizations, has called on the Georgian Prosecutor’s Office to launch “an independent and effective investigation” into an alleged crime by Enzel Mkoyan, Georgian Dream’s majoritarian MP from Akhalkalaki and Ninotsminda constituency.
The Coalition’s July 21 statement comes three days after the regional media website Akhalkalaki News posted a new video featuring March 26 incident involving MP Mkoyan and his nephew. The video shows that the Georgian Dream lawmaker is threatening Samvel Petrosyan, former United National Movement MP turned Alliance of Patriots party member, with a firearm.
The Coalition for Equality noted that although the video demonstrates that Mkoyan was using a firearm during the incident, no investigation has been launched against him.
“The video shows there were police officers present on the ground that did nothing to prevent the lawmaker’s illegal and violent acts, clearly maintaining loyalty towards him,” the statement reads.
The Coalition also focused on Mkoyan’s alleged links to “other violent incidents”, adding that law enforcers had an “inadequate” reaction to those incidents as well.
“It once again demonstrates that Enzel Mkoyan enjoys […] certain privileges that creates the risks of conflict escalation in the region and contradicts the principles of a legal state,” the statement reads.
MP Mkoyan represents southern Georgia’s overwhelmingly Armenian-majority Akhalkalaki and Ninotsminda districts in the Parliament.
The coalition CSOs called on the Prosecutor’s Office to immediately launch an “independent and effective investigation” into Enzel Mkoyan’s actions; to outline criminal liability of all participants of the incident; not to allow privileges for MP Mkoyan and his inner circle.
The Prosecutor’s Office has launched an investigation into the March 26 Akhalkalaki incident on charges of hooliganism with the use of firearms. Two persons, including MP Mkoyan’s nephew, have been arrested and sent to pretrial custody. They face imprisonment from four to seven years if their guilt is proved.