CSOs react to alleged pressure on Ramin Mamedov and his family - საერთაშორისო გამჭვირვალობა - საქართველო

CSOs react to alleged pressure on Ramin Mamedov and his family

17 April, 2015

Last week Shalva Abuladze was detained by law enforcement officers after a special-forces raid. Abuladze was charged with the premeditated murder of two police officers, after a man-hunt for him had been underway for several days.

On April 9, a day before Abuladze's arrest, it was publicly reported that law enforcers had detained Ramin Mamedov. According to the media, Mamedov is Abuladze's friend. Mamedov was indicted for purchasing and storing contraband drugs in large amounts. This is an especially grave crime that carries a sentence of up to 14 years imprisonment. Media also reports that law enforcement officers made inquiries with Mamedov’s family members and friends, interrogating them overnight, for several hours and without the presence of an attorney.

Following the interrogations, Mamedov's family members told media they were pressured and intimidated during the interrogation. Law enforcement officers demanded they disclose Abuladze's whereabouts. They claimed also that the search for Abuladze was linked to Ramin Mamedov's detention. They assert that the drugs were planted by the law enforcement officers.

Several media outlets have published statements by Mamedov's friends. Yet, it is unknown if the Prosecutor's Office made inquiries and launched an investigation into this case. Reports on Mamedov's detention indicate several potential grave crimes committed by law enforcement officers, including coercion, intimidation, abuse of power, and illegal detention. When made by a person who has been interrogated by the law enforcement, claims that interrogators have broken the law,  are sufficient for launching an investigation into their actions. This obligates the Prosecutor's Office to immediately react and assess whether facts reported by Mamedov's family members are true. In particular, whether drugs were intentionally planted on Mamedov and whether law enforcement officers pressured him and his family members.

According to Mamedov's attorney, the defendant pleaded not guilty. Yet, he suddenly changed his testimony during the court hearing examining his pre-trial detention. Once Mamedov pleaded guilty, the prosecutor also changed his position unexpectedly, requesting bail instead of pre-trial detention. These actions of the defendant and prosecutor reinforce Mamedov's family members’ suspicions that the drugs were planted on Mamedov by law enforcement officers and that other forms of coercion were applied.

It is important to note that concern about planting drugs and weapons, and other similar malpractice were one of the key criticisms of law enforcement agencies in the past. There were suspicions in numerous criminal cases, that such illegal practices were widely used by investigative authorities to encourage individuals to cooperate with the authorities and/or plead guilty. Such suspicions have considerably undermined public trust in the law enforcement agencies.

In this instance there are serious doubts about the legality of the methods used by law enforcement in the search and arrest of Shalva Abuladze. Concerns include the criminal charges brought against Abuladze’s friend, Mamedov, and the suspicions around the validity of the case; and the interrogation of Mamedov’s family without appropriate representation being present. These concerns have been raised in the media by family and friends of Mamedov, bringing to light and raising doubts about the processes undertaken by law enforcement. It is therefore important that the Prosecutor's Office of Georgia responds to these concerns through a timely and impartial investigation of the actions of the relevant agencies and officers,

Moreover, even when reacting to a such grave crime as killing an on-duty police officer, the law enforcement system is obligated to act within statutory frameworks. In the fight against crime law enforcement agencies must not use methods that violate the  law or infringe on fundamental human rights. We urge the Prosecutor's Office of Georgia, to react to statements made by Ramin Mamedov's family;, ensure a rapid, impartial and comprehensive investigation of circumstances mentioned in these statements; and to provide a justified response to public concerns surrounding the case.


Human Rights Education and Monitoring Center (EMC)

Georgian Democratic Initiative (GDI)

Transparency International Georgia

Georgian Young Lawyers' Association (GYLA)

Article 42 of the Constitution