Missing Former Official Found Alive, Unharmed

Former Deputy Head of National Environmental Agency, economist Ramaz Gerliani, reported missing on December 19 after accusing a policeman of abuse, was found alive, unharmed, by law enforcement officers early this morning.

Speaking with journalists after questioning at the police station, Gerliani said he intended to commit suicide – “meet [his] death” – but police found him before he could.

Gerliani said he was in Surami, a mountain resort some 130 km away from Tbilisi in the Shida Kartli region, “mainly moving in the direction” of the Surami woodland.

He cited the “disrespectful and demeaning” actions towards him by the policeman, he identified as Giorgi Gogniashvili, as the main reason for his disappearance and the possible suicide attempt.

It “piled up over time in me and I came to this decision,” Gerliani said. “I left on my own volition,” he added.

Clarifying his accusations against the police officer, Gerliani claimed the man verbally abused him and interrogated him on his “private property with false motives.”

Gerliani was reported missing on Sunday after publishing a post to Facebook, accusing the policeman of insulting and harassing him at his own home. In addition, he voiced suspicions that the policeman was collecting personal information on him and his family members using “the police system and other means.”

His brother, Romanoz Gerliani on December 21 voiced suspicions that higher-ups in the Interior Ministry were protecting the police officer that allegedly abused the man, and deliberately dragging out the investigation into the accusations of abuse.

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