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Senior MP Says 33 Held over Mukhrovani Mutiny
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 23 May.'09 / 01:16

A senior lawmaker from the ruling party, Givi Targamadze, said that total of 33 persons were arrested in connection to the Mukhrovani mutiny.

MP Targamadze, who chairs parliamentary committee for defense and security, said in Rustavi 2 TV’s weekly program, Position, late on May 22, that 32 persons remained in pre-trial detention and one was released on bail.

Twelve out of 32 persons remaining in the police custody are civilians and twenty – military officers, MP Givi Targamadze said.

He also said that relatives of one of key suspects, Koba Otanadze, who according to the Interior Ministry was injured and arrested in a police shootout late on May 20, were held briefly by the police for interrogation. He said that information obtained as a result of those interrogations helped the police to arrest Otanadze. Another suspect, Levan Amiridze, was also injured and arrested and the third one – Gia Krialashvili was killed in the shootout with the police, according to the Interior Ministry.

Otanadze’s brother, Jimsher Otanadze, the latter’s wife and their son were detained by the police at about 3am on May 20. But their detention was not formally registered by the police and defense lawyer and representatives of the Public Defender’s Office were not able to find detainees’ whereabouts. They were released about 21 hours later after the arrest of Koba Otanadze. After their release it emerged that at least 11 other relatives of Otanadze were also detained in the same period. Otanadze’s defense lawyer, Onise Mebonia, said that this type of detention amounted to kidnapping.

The Interior Ministry made the first official statement on the matter on May 22 in which it confirmed detention of “some of the family members of Koba Otanadze” citing that some of them were held with status of “suspects” and others with status of “witnesses.” It also said that information obtained from their questioning helped the police to arrest Otanadze.

Another brother of Koba Otanadze, Nugzar Otanadze, was also arrested a week after the Mukhrovani incident. He was charged with resisting police and sent to a two-month pre-trial detention. The defense lawyer said Nugzar Otanadze was beaten and “tortured” by the police after the arrest; the Interior Ministry denied that and said Nugzar Otanadze sustained injured while resisting the police arrest.

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