The Special Investigation Service has stated it is probing neglect of official duty that resulted in grave consequences after a 34-year-old “jumped” two stories from the building of the Fourth Line Unit of Sachkhere-Chiatura Police Department.
Investigators are probing the incident under Article 342 (2), foreseeing imprisonment from two to five years, the Service said on April 15.
The man is currently in a coma. Director of Sachkhere Medical Center Mikheil Kamushadze has said he underwent an operation but he remains in a heavy condition.
According to media reports, the incident at the police post took place after law enforcers detained the man in central Chiatura, a town in the western region of Imereti, after they accidentally hit him with their car.
The man’s mother claimed with TV Pirveli that he kicked the car following the incident, and as a response, the policemen beat him and “dragged him into the [police] car.”
She said she did not know what happened afterward, but was told by the police that her son had jumped out of the window. “I do not know how this boy, handcuffed, could have jumped,” she remarked.
The aunt of the victim told TV Pirveli that the man had suffered a broken leg and hand, as well as five fractures to the head. She further said that the victim had severely swollen eyes.
TV Pirveli claimed that policemen beat up the victim at the police station and then tossed him out of the window. It said that Interior Ministry employees were “going door to door in Chiatura and silencing everyone who may know anything about the incident.”
The government-critical network further claimed that they warned owners of cafes and pharmacies not to show security camera footage to anyone.
Civil.ge has reached out to the Interior Ministry for comments over the incident. If provided, the response will be added to the article.
Social Justice Center reacts to the incident
The Social Justice Center, a Tbilisi-based advocacy group, stated on April 15 that “exceeding of official powers by policemen remains a systemic challenge.”
The watchdog urged the Special Investigation Service to carry out a “timely and effective” probe and the Interior Ministry to take steps for preventing abuse of power.
“Problems of police violence and abuse of power should return to the political agenda and the Parliament should ensure real, functional and political independence of the Special Investigation Service, so that cases of abuse of power are effectively investigated,” the Social Justice Center stated.