A gavel – Common item of police and judge
24 February, 2011

Principle that can prove the man killed Kennedy

On 6 February, 2011 officers of Main Division of Georgian MIA detained brothers Bakar and Lasha Lutidze in Tbilisi. They are accused of minor harassments, swearing in public places and gross disobedience to law enforcers. The detained persons were given 400 lari administrative fines. The two arrested and fined men were released; they were acquitted and two ill-behaved policemen were penalized. As a result of publishing an eye-opening article in a Georgian-language newspaper Kviris Palitra, all suspicions came true and the Georgian court turned out to be in merger with law enforcers.
Bakur Lutidze: “At midnight I and my brother Lasha were returning home when suddenly a car stopped in front of us. Three civilian men sprung out of the car (the fourth man remained sitting behind the wheel) and ordered us to stop. One of them approached us and roughly demanded that we take out hands from the pockets. Lasha obeyed, his hands emerged from pockets; in one hand he was holding a mobile phone. They grabbed the phone instantly. I grinned. But it was enough for them to get furious and call me a pimp. One of them grabbed my brother by his hair, the other hit him in the face. Then they threw both of us into the car. The fourth policeman, who turned out to be deputy head of division Giorgi Khidasheli resorted to physical and verbal harassments. They drove us around the entire night because neither in Tbilisi nor in Kaspi there was no vacant place for preliminary detention. Eventually, they took us to Gori. After staying four hours in a cell of preliminary detention they brought us back to Tbilisi at six o’clock in the morning. We told everything to the judge there. However we were acknowledged as criminals. The most intimidating was the notion that our father came to suspect our sincerity.
Oleg Lutidze, father of Lasha and Bakar Lutidze: “when the court proceedings were over, the boys told me that if I did not believe the story, I could check with Goethe Institute located right there; their cameras could have recorded the scene of encounter that night. So, I did go there – to the Goethe Institute and demanded copies of the tapes. Indeed, it turned out that our children had said the truth.”
We checked and obtained the very videotape. It clearly showed two young men slowly moving along the sidewalk. Althoough the tape is voiceless, the manner of their movement points to the fact that they were not breaching the public order.
Soon this car which stopped in front of us and the three persons in civilian uniforms jumped out of it. It is also clear that that the brothers stopped at their demand. It is also evident that they stopped and did not move, obeying their demands. Then all three come closer to them, kicked Lasha Lutidze and hit in the face. Somewhere in between they did a perfunctory body check. Finally, the boys were shoved into the car. The video tape shows clearly that a person sitting next to a driver harasses arrested people sitting in the back (see the video at www.interpressnews.ge/ge/video.html?view=video&video=423). After investigating the case and hearing arguments, the court resolved that citizens Lasha and Bakar Lutidze committed an administrative felony, including hooliganism and swearing in public places. At the same time they did not obey a legal demand or order of a law enforcement officer. After serving all the legal demands and requests of law enforcers, some of them were arrested for violating law enforcement rules.We went to Zandukeli Street, the place where the crime occurred and was visited by residents living in the vicinity. No one notice in the night of 6 February any swearing and debouching.
We questioned several residents of Zandukeli Street living in the numbers of 9, 11, 13, as well as an officer of house guard who takes care of a house for 24 hours due to surge in foreign workers. All the questioned men could not recollect the debouch and swearing on the 6 February night.
After the publication of the videotape, the Authorities dismissed 2 assistant detectives. Namely, they downgraded deputy head of Old Tbilisi district MIA division and gave a strict reprimand to other law enforcers working as the inspector-detective of the same MIA division. What is more, the court of appellation also recognized innocence of Lutidze brothers. Later on, the general inspection acknowledged the crime of the policemen and the court of appellation dismissed all the allegations against them.
So, what was left to the city court was to make an explanation. It released a statement that the court was devoid of any chance to share the suppositions of the Lutidze brothers because law enforcers were obliged to stay objective, act honestly and use their power within legal bounds.
The court explanation exacerbated misgivings of the police and decimated chances of fair judgment again.
Acute discrepancies exist in the system. Judges unconditionally trust words of law enforcers and see them as angels who are unaware of crime existence. They take it as a face value that there is no need in additional evidence for any case. These all speak volumes about the looming problems in the courts and judiciary.
Soso Baratashvili, lawyer: “a judge rested on words of a single policeman and did not accept explanations of the arrested people. The judge did not have other reasons to solidify witnessing of policemen. In such cases, courts were obliged to learn all the details, instead of accepting verbal explanation of policeman. Thus, the arrest of the Lutidze brothers caused a lofty scandal. This was a sole reason for their acquittal. Or else if our courts relied on all the tapes and proofs, there would have been much more acquittals out of 12 000 criminal cases reviewed in recent  years.