Lali Aptsiauri: Gaioz Zviadadze was beaten by 8 people in the room for meetings with lawyers. He does not know who they are, but can recognize and identify some of them. In 2007 Gaioz Zviadadze was announced guilty by Georgian court. He was not present at the court session. Zviadadze was sentenced to ten years of imprisonment and was announced wanted. On March 17, 2010 he was detained in Russia and extradited to Georgia.
Based on article 236 of Criminal Code of Georgia, Kutaisi Court of Appeal sentenced Mr. Zviadadze to one year of imprisonment. The judgment states that the starting point for time reading shall be considered from the day of detention. Respectively, the sentence period should have finished on March 17, 2011. Despite the above, as the lawyer states, Zviadadze was willfully retained in prison until April 6, 2011 (before a new allegation was brought against him).
It is noteworthy that Attorney General of Georgia submitted a series of guarantees to Russian Federation stating that all the requirements of human rights and freedoms envisaged by European Convention would be observed after Zviadadze’s extradition. The promise has not been kept. Even more, the complaint about inhuman treatment against Zviadadze and illegal suppression of his freedom is in European Court.
Lali Aptsiauri, lawyer:
On March 17, 2011 Zviadadze told me that he was severely beaten by the employees of Penitentiary Department. He had injuries on the face, he could hardly speak or move; he could not keep his balance and had a head-ache.
Representatives of the Public Defender visited him on March 18. As Mr. Zviadadze states after extradition from Russia he was placed in facility 7 of penitentiary system. After about 15 minutes he was led to the room for meetings as if to meet with his own lawyer. Two staff members met him in the room instead of the lawyer demanding from him to sign a document the content of which Zviadadze could not read as he did not have his glasses with him.
As Zviadadze says, the administration representatives told him that he letter included his consent on cooperation with the prison management. Zviadadze refused to sign the document that resulted in physical and verbal abuse by the staff members. Right then several more people entered the room, among them Nr. G.Guniava, the Director of prison 7, who personally participated in beating and torturing Zviadadze. Zviadadze was beaten by 8 people in the room for meetings with lawyers. He does not know who the people were, but can identify several of them.
Zviadadze says that as a result of beating he fell down after which he was taken to ward 3 on the first floor of the prison. On March 21, 2010 we applied to Chakua, the Head of Penitentiary Department, to transfer Zviadadze to hospital and let expert Gejadze examine his condition. However, our requirement was ignored, and we did not receive any answer.
The same day, the prisoner was once again visited by the representatives of the Public Defender. Gaioz Zviadadze told them that he had not been receiving any food since March 15, 2011, but he had not applied to the administration as he did not have a piece of paper or a pen.
Gaioz Zviadadze states that despite having difficulties in keeping balance, and feeling heaviness in the head, his health had improved a little. After the visit of the Public Defender’s representatives, the prison employees entered Zviadadze’s ward, took away his personal items: tooth brush and pasta, toilet paper, newspapers and magazines and threatened: “If you and your lawyer do not stop writing complaints, we will not leave the ward with empty hands”.
The conclusion of Empatia – a psycho-rehabilitation center: “During the meeting with Mr. Guniava, we found out that the medical personnel of prison 7 were at the meeting at Penitentiary Department; the medical unit of the prison was locked and we could not get familiar with the information in the medical card of the patient, or make copy of it. As Mr. Guniava clarified, the chief medical officer of the prison had the key to the medical unit, and there was no other key to open the office. Henc,e we could not use the room of the medical unit to conduct medical-forensic examination. The multi-functional group was re-directed to the investigation room (the Director explained that there was no other vacant room). There were no conditions in the above room to conduct medical examination. Examination of the patient in a horizontal position was impossible. There were no glasses in the window frames and it was windy in the room. The temperature in the room was similar to that outside that made the examination of the body of the patient risky. There were video-cameras installed in the room and we were watched by the prison staff. Due to conditions inadequate for medical examination the time was limited. As the person to be examined stated he was beaten in the same room…
In accordance to the traumatologist: “ The injuries on the body of the person under examination were imposed by a blunt item. Based on the consultation of a neurologist the conditions of the patient having concussion and craniocerebral trauma have been aggravated due to starvation, which makes differential diagnosing of concussion difficult and needs to obtain additional objective information, on the one hand, and ophtomologist’s consultation and CT scanning, on the other hand. Based on the injuries in the area of head, the following diagnosis was made: multiple thrashes in the area of the patient’s head and face, caused by recurrent application of blunt items”.
In accordance with the consultation of a psychiatrist: based on physical and neurological data as well as psychological status, we can make the following conclusion: psychological disorder caused by dysfunction and injury of brain – supposedly, post-traumatic cerebral syndrome. Based on the consultation of a neurologist, eye ground examination and CT scanning should be conducted.
Conditions in the prison based on penitentiary expert conclusion: living conditions in ward 3, where the concerned person was as of March 22, 2011 are difficult and do not match the minimal local or international standards of imprisonment. As the person under examination states, Guniava, the Director of the facility, and Kantaria, chief security officer, participated in beating and torturing him on March 17, 2011. They are still continuing threatening, scaring and suppressing the person. Taking into consideration local and international standards, as we as the requirements necessary for the safety of the person, and the necessity to investigate the developments, keeping Mr. Zviadadze in facility 7 of the penitentiary system is inadmissible.
Lali Aptsiauri, lawyer:
“On May 24 we once again applied to the Chair of the Penitentiary Department to transfer Mr. Zviadadze to hospital, and let Mr. Gejadze, an expert, visit him in prison 7. Mr. Chakua was also informed that postponing the satisfaction of the demand of the defense side would cause disappearance of the traces of injuries on Zviadadze’s body. Our appeal was not paid any attention. On May 29, the Penitentiary Department issued a permit to expert Gejadze to enter the prison. Zviadadze was examined by Gejadze on March 30, 2011, and a conclusion #01 was issued stating the following: “Based on the examination of the medical card and the person concerned, it can be stated that Mr. Zviadadze has a number of injuries and bruises caused by recurrent application of a blunt item(s). Taking into consideration the morphological picture, the injuries and bruises do not contradict the date indicated in the case file”.
Gejadze was interrogated on March 30 as a witness and not as an aggrieved party in relation to his beating and torture. He gave detailed evidence on inhuman treatment against him committed on March 16 to Ilia Gergedava, an investigator of The Investigation Office of the Penitentiary Department. Zviadadze also mentioned that the prison administration was still continuing to threaten him verbally, demanding from him to stop complaining or some illegal item would be found in his ward. On April 6, we learned that Vaisl Gogishvili, an investigator of the Investigation Department of the Ministry Penitentiary System, Probation and Legal Assistance filed a new charge against Zviadadze, which was denied by the latter, stating that he had not committed any unlawful action, and had not attacked anybody, and that he was accused of having committed the above because he had filed complaints about his torture and beating. Zviadadze explained that the accusation against him had been incriminated by the staff of facility 7 and Vasil Gogishvili, an investigator of the Investigation Department of the Ministry Penitentiary System, Probation and Legal Assistance aiming at covering the crime committed against Zviadadze. The argument unconditionally confirms that Zviadadze has not committed any crime; he is persecuted purposefully; and new accusations were brought illegally and deliberately”.