The Special Investigation Service (SIS) announced on 28 November that as a result of ongoing investigations, they have revealed 4 separate cases of ill-treatment and violence by law enforcement officers throughout the country. The SIS’ findings are based on investigations conducted in October and November of this year.
Death of Prisoner at Mental Health Center
One of the law enforcement officers implicated by the SIS is D.D., a Senior Escort Officer of the Main Division of Escort and Special Events of the Penitentiary Department of the Special Penitentiary Service, who was being investigated over the injury of a prisoner, who later died, at the Mental Health and Drug Addiction Prevention Center.
In the incident in question, which occurred on the morning of 20 August during a shift handover, a prisoner sneaked up behind an employee of the Special Penitentiary Service, stole his official firearm, and after failing to fire the first shot, fired a second time in the direction of the officers, and later, at himself. The prisoner sustained a gunshot wound to the head and fell into a comatose state as a result. The prisoner had been transferred to the Center two days before on 18 August, after it was determined that he needed treatment for mental health issues. He ultimately died on 25 August as a result of his injuries.
The SIS found that the officer “improperly performed the duties assigned to him.” “He could not ensure the safe transfer of his shift and left the prisoners without constant supervision with a careless attitude,” they underscored and added that it was as a result of this attitude that the prisoner was able to sneak up on one of the officers, “who was also moving around in violation of the standard of prudence with a service-staff weapon,” and take his gun from him.
The SIS noted that D.D. has been charged by the Prosecutor under Article 342 (2) of the Criminal Code of Georgia, which refers to the neglect of official duty resulting in death. If found guilty, he faces a term of two to five years.
Disclosure of Information on Private Life
The SIS also exposed G.L., the Inspector of the Special Tasks Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA), for “the crime of disclosure of information on the private life of a woman who was in a relationship with him.”
According to the SIS, in March 2022, G.L. – who was angry about the breakup of his relationship with the woman – sent a half-naked photo of the woman to her husband through the Messenger application to notify him that she was cheating on him in an act of revenge.
Shortly after, the woman applied to the SIS, as a result of which the officer was arrested in accordance with Article 157 (1) of the Criminal Code, referring to the disclosure of personal secrets/information which has resulted in considerable damage. The crime is punishable by a fine or corrective labor for up to two years or imprisonment for up to three years.
The SIS also drew attention to the case of Z.M., a military police officer of the Ministry of Defence (MOD), who was accused of verbally and physically assaulting his wife in front of their children on 17 November 2022, and found guilty of the crime. Per the SIS, the woman suffered severe physical pain and body damage as a result of the violence and applied to the Service soon after.
As a result of their investigation, the officer was arrested under Article 126, referring to domestic violence, 111 (1), and liability for a domestic crime, of the Criminal Code.
The final case highlighted by the SIS relates to the Inspector of the Main Division of External Protection and Information-Technical Security of the Penitentiary Department of the Special Penitentiary Service being exposed for improper treatment in different periods in November 2022.
Per the SIS, the person in question, who was in “charge of organizing and controlling the proper performance of the duties of the soldiers in compulsory military service, exceeded his authority and physically assaulted 4 conscripts for violating discipline in Batumi city, in the penitentiary institution No. 3 of the Penitentiary Department of the Special Penitentiary Service.”
Following their investigation, the SIS addressed the Prosecutor, which launched criminal prosecution against the inspector under Article 333 (3b) of the Criminal Code, referring to exceeding official powers using violence or a weapon. If found guilty, he faces imprisonment for a term of five to eight years, with the deprivation of the right to hold an official position or carry out a particular activity for up to three years.