Zviad Ratiani Case

Writers Demonstrate in Front of Court in Support of Ratiani

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Photo: რადიო თავისუფლება

The hearing on the Zviad Ratiani case is currently being held in the Tbilisi City Court.

Georgian writers have gathered in front of the court to protest the investigation against Zviad Ratiani, who was arrested and physically assaulted by police on December 23

Ratiani's initial trial was on December 25, however he was unable to attend the trial because of his health condition and on the basis of his lawyer’s motion, the trial was postponed to January 17.

Ratiani claims he was physically assaulted by police, because of the color of his jacket. He was taken to hospital by an ambulance after the incident.  

Later, the Ministry of Internal Affairs made a statement according to which Ratiani had resisted the police, swore and used strong language. Yesterday, the Georgian Public Broadcaster shared the video which was taken with the mobile phone of the policeman.

The video is incomplete however and it does depict Ratiani’s swearing. This video was approved by the judge as one of the pieces of evidence.

For the defendant’s side this decision is unacceptable. The lawyer of Ratiani says that the video doesn’t depict the moment Ratiani was stopped or detained. Moreover, the video is taken by phone, because law enforcement authorities are obliged to use the camera on their shoulders during police control.

Minister of Internal Affairs of Georgia Giorgi Gakharia commented on the matter by saying that the police system is indeed in the need of reforms:

“Our main goal is to involve society in the police reform process. Without society’s trust it will be impossible to make such reforms. I understand that there are some problems in trust. There are some question marks too, which is why I came here. From my side, the door is always open.

We’ve said it before that our main goals are oriented towards the future. We all understand that reforms in the system are very important, keeping in mind the challenges that we have...The police system should be politically neutral and oriented towards [the wellbeing of] citizens. This is our main task.”

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