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08 Jul 2023

The Special Investigation Service provided updates to the Media Ombudsman and other non-governmental organizations regarding the ongoing investigation on the Rally of March 07-09

The Special Investigation Service provided updates to the Media Ombudsman and other non-governmental organizations regarding the ongoing investigation on the Rally of March 07-09



By the initiative of the media ombudsman, the Special Investigative Service held a working meeting with member non-governmental organizations of the media advocacy coalition. One of the goals of the meeting was to provide the civil sector with updates on the current investigation regarding the March 7-9 Rally.



Special Investigation Service investigates the fact of possible abuse and exceeding official offers against the participants of the March 07-09 Rally held near the Georgian Parliament in Tbilisi under Part Three, Sub-Paragraph "B" of Article 333 and Article 154 of the Criminal Code of Georgia.



On March 07-09, 124 reports were received from various sources regarding the possible illegal actions committed by law enforcement officers related to the violation of the rights of the participants of the rally and individual journalists.



The subject of the investigation is also the facts of the possible excessive use of force by law-enforcement officers against various persons because of the monitoring of the video materials spread by the mass media.



The Special Investigation Service ensured prompt response to each received report. Since the initiation of the investigation, 142 citizens have been interviewed/interrogated (including 19 journalists and 24 police officers, some interviews are ongoing). Thirty-three potential victims were offered to familiarize themselves with the materials of the criminal case, including 8 journalists.



Forensic medical expertise was appointed for eighteen persons in the Levan Samkharauli National Forensic Bureau.



In the frame of the current investigation, eight different accident scene was inspected, and surveillance video cameras of the investigation interest were identified. 



The investigation obtained recordings of TV programs available in the public Internet space, as well as, based on the court ruling, video recordings were requested from the Parliament of Georgia, Public Security Management Center 112 of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the City Hall of Tbilisi Municipality and other public and private institutions located near the Parliament building (totally - 43 objects, 7 television) to determine the actual circumstances of the incident, to study the issue of possible excess of use of force by law enforcement officers, and also to identify law enforcement officers equipped with special equipment in individual episodes and to determine their recognizable signs.



By this time, the total duration of obtained records is more than 4,200 hours which are being inspected and reviewed by the investigation team in an investigative manner and active mode.



Based on the court ruling, the arrest protocols and other documentation of the persons arrested at the rally were requested from the Temporary Detention Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. The materials of the administrative proceedings against the detained protestors were requested from the Tbilisi City Court.


Qualifications have been added to the criminal cases during the investigation and along with the abuse of official powers the investigation into the facts of illegally interfering with the journalist's professional activity is ongoing.


The March 07-08 Rally participants, who point to the violation of their rights by law enforcement officers, are allowed to access criminal cases and get acquainted with the case materials.



The Special Investigation Service continues to conduct active investigative and procedural actions. In case of obtaining the relevant evidence and identifying the persons exposed to the crime, the service will ensure legal measures provided by the law.