Perhaps the biggest disappointment in torture reform since the 'Rose Revolution' has been the government's weak fulfillment of its promises to punish those responsible for torture. The Procurator General's Office deserves credit for beginning to prosecute some abusive police officers, but its response to hundreds of allegations of torture and ill-treatment has not yet reached an adequate level to effectively combat the long standing environment of impunity for abusive law enforcement officers.30 As outlined below, impediments to accountability appeared to remain institutionalized, with law enforcement bodies systematically finding ways to avoid having to take criminal responsibility for acts of torture and ill-treatment.
The procurator general has publicly stated the need to bring to justice abusive police officers and told Human Rights Watch that his office had recently started to prosecute them.31 Of a total of 228 investigations into police misconduct in 2004, thirty-three, according to the procuracy, involved elements of inhuman and degrading treatment.32 Of these thirty-three, only one has resulted in a police officer serving a prison sentence, a surprisingly low figure given the acknowledged widespread nature of torture and ill-treatment.33
Out of the thirty-three cases noted above, twenty were terminated or suspended without criminal charges being pursued.34 One case was still being investigated, and in the remaining twelve cases criminal charges were laid, and the cases were sent to court.35 As of this writing, the courts had not yet ruled on seven of those cases.36
Regarding the remaining five of those twelve, in one case a court imposed a fine and in three cases the defendants were convicted but immediately paroled (resulting in no time served in prison); in three of these four cases the underlying incidents appeared to involve police brutality but not torture. In the one case that did seem to fit the definition of torture, the victim died less than an hour after he was released from custody. In the fifth case, the only one to have resulted in a prison sentence (of one and a half years), the defendant was convicted for beating another police officer under unclear circumstances.37
Intimidation, persuasion, and blocking the justice process all played a role in perpetuating impunity for law enforcement officers who committed crimes of torture. According to NGOs we interviewed, in many cases, the victims of torture or their relatives chose not to pursue complaints of torture, either believing that there was no point or fearing retribution.38 In two cases of suspicious deaths in custody, the victims relatives said that they feared pursuing complaints, apparently because of threats made against them.39 In other abuse cases, the authorities persuaded the victims not to proceed with cases through promises of lighter sentences, agreed through the new plea bargaining system, or simply failed to fully investigate and prosecute cases when complaints were made.
Amendments to Georgias criminal procedure code introduced plea bargaining in February 2004, and further amendments adopted four months later expanded plea bargaining to include cases in which the defendant does not admit her or his guilt.40 Under the current arrangements, the procurator may negotiate a deal with the defendant in which the defendant provides some sort of cooperation, including a monetary payment to the authorities, in exchange for a lighter sentence, or for dropping the charges altogether.41 By law the payment does not appear to be calculated as a fine for any underlying offense, according to a schedule of fines in the criminal code, or in cases of corruption or embezzlement, as restitution for specific amounts swindled from the state. A judge confirms the deal before it goes into force and should ensure that there is a prima facie case against the defendant and that the defendant was not coerced into the agreement.
Many high-profile cases of former government officials and businessmen charged with offenses related to corruption have been resolved through the defendant's payment of large sums of money to the state in exchange for the dropping of charges.42 In other more common criminal cases, such as theft or hooliganism, law enforcement authorities have been using the plea bargaining system extensively.43
Members of the diplomatic community, Georgian lawyers, and NGOs have all criticized the plea bargaining system as a particularly perverse response to corruption. A report for the Council of Europe encapsulated these concerns, stating:
The system may not only create an impression that big thieves are allowed to buy an immunity from justice, but is also worrisome because the lack of legal and administrative checks and balances in the Georgian police, prosecutor services and courts create a risk for abuse.44
Human Rights Watch does not object to the general concept of plea bargaining per se, so long as due process rights set out in law are observed in practice. But in Georgia, Human Rights Watch has documented cases in which law enforcement authorities used their powers to use plea bargaining as a means to stop a full investigation into allegations of torture. Given the widespread nature of torture, judges should be making a concerted effort to ensure that there is no coercion in plea bargaining, but in cases we have examined this does not appear to be happening.
A criminal defense lawyer, Tamara Japaridze, told Human Rights Watch that her client alleged that police beat him after an argument developed following a minor car accident in September 2004.45 According to the lawyer, DG alleged that police handcuffed him and beat him throughout a period of several hours late at night at the Vake-Saburtalo district police station in Tbilisi.46 During the beating, DG's parents came to the police station. They told Japaridze that they waited in the corridor and heard the sounds of their son being beaten. They said that the police were also rough with them, hitting DG's father in the face, and manhandling his mother.47 In the morning DG's parents called Japaridze and asked her to go to the police station, which she did. When she met with DG, she saw bruises on his arms, legs, back, and neck, and cuts and scrapes on his nose and forehead.48 She lodged a complaint with the Public Defender's Office and the Procurator General's Office, and requested an immediate medical examination. After approximately two days, a state medical expert examined DG.49 However, the authorities did not allow her access to the medical report. DG was charged with hooliganism and was then released on bail.50
Japaridze, with her client's consent, was keen to pursue the torture complaint. However, some weeks later, DG contacted her and told her not to go ahead with the complaint. He told her that the procurator in the case had proposed a plea bargain agreement on the basis that DG plead guilty and agree to the police version of events that did not include any of the torture allegations. Thus, the agreement compelled him to either face prosecution and be tried by a court that has the reputation of following the will of the procurator, or forfeit the real possibility of pursuing the torture complaint, since the states version of the facts he agreed to were not consistent with his torture allegations. Japaridze told Human Rights Watch:
In the end they agreed that he [DG] should pay 3,000 lari [approximately U.S. $1,700] and agreed that he was guilty. They needed this agreement to include his guilt so they could save the police who beat him. The procurator forced him to agree to this... Procurators deal with cases this way very often now. I get lots of cases with [police] beatings. All the torture cases end like that and no one is ever punished.51
In December, a Vake-Saburtalo District Court judge confirmed the agreement in a short procedural hearing. According to Japaridze, the judge reviewed the case in approximately fifteen minutes, asking DG if he admitted his guilt and then confirming the agreement with only a cursory examination of the circumstances surrounding the case. 52
DG was reluctant to meet with Human Rights Watch. Japaridze explained that prior to making the plea agreement, he and his family had wanted to raise the allegations of torture publicly. However, after making the agreement, they were reluctant to pursue the complaint in any way.
In another case, on August 24 police detained Rustam Anzorov, a refugee from Chechnya.53 According to Anzorov's lawyer, police claimed that Anzorov had an illegal weapon, but when they found nothing on him, they charged him with hooliganism and not complying with a lawful order, alleging that he swore at police. Anzorov told his lawyer that the police were very rough with him, twisted his arms, and took him to the Vake-Saburtalo district police station in Tbilisi, where they proceeded to kick and hit him with their fists and gun butts. The next day, he was taken to the State Security Ministry detention center where he was not beaten.54 Anzorov's lawyer told Human Rights Watch:
I saw him at the state security detention center. He told me about the beating. His eye was bruised and bloody. His head and shoulders were covered in bruises. I made a statement to the Ministry of Interior [which is responsible for the police] about the beating, but they didn't react.55
An independent forensic examination carried out on August 30 confirmed the injuries on Anzorov's body, finding that he had bruising to both his eyes, neck, and left shoulder. A report by the doctor who examined him when he was later transferred to Prison No.1 for pre-trial detention also confirmed injuries to both eyes and his back.56
The Ministry of Interior later replied to the lawyers complaint, stating that the targets of the complaint were not under its authority and that the Ministry of Interior had forwarded the complaint to the State Security Ministry. The State Security Ministry never replied.57
The Vake-Saburtalo District Court remanded Anzorov to custody for three months. In September, the procurator offered to free Anzorov in exchange for a guilty plea and a sum of money paid to the state. Anzorov's lawyer told Human Rights Watch:
At first, they asked for $50,000. It was like bargaining. But because this case was in the newspaper, that he [Anzorov] was beaten and arrested for nothing, they let him go for five thousand lari [approximately U.S. $2,800].58
Although, according to his lawyer, Anzorov continued to believe that he was not guilty of the charges, the prospect of a possible nine months in pre-trial detention, followed by an uncertain outcome in a trial presided over by a judge who would most likely favor the procurator, led him to accept the procurator's offer. As in the case involving DG, Anzorov had to forfeit any possibility of pursuing the abuse complaint or face prosecution on charges of hooliganism and not complying with a lawful order.
Shortly after the plea bargain was agreed to, a Vake-Saburtalo District Court judge confirmed the legality of the agreement in a procedural hearing that took approximately five minutes, and Anzorov was then released.59
According to the Office of the Procurator General, a preliminary enquiry into the case found that the injuries to Anzorov were caused during the arrest as a result of his resistance, and that Anzorov stated that he had no objections against the employees neither of the Patrolling Police nor Tbilisi Vake-Saburtalo District Police. Nor claims he to have been injured by them.60 The procuracy therefore decided not to proceed with a full investigation of the case.61
The case of Nikoloz Okruashvili illustrates how law enforcement authorities remain reluctant to investigate and prosecute police officers for torture. It also highlights the inherent problem of the procuracy taking on conflicting oversight and investigative tasks, resulting in inadequate protections for those with complaints against the police and procuracy.62 In this case the allegations of torture were made before the current government came to power. However, the victim and his lawyer had no more success in prosecuting the case after the change in government than before.
Police arrested Nikoloz Okruashvili on April 22, 2003, on suspicion of having been involved in a break-in three days earlier. Okruashvili told his lawyer that police tortured him on the sixth floor of the headquarters of the Ministry of Interior. His lawyer told Human Rights Watch:
When Okruashvili said that he hadn't participated [in the crime], police beat him. They beat him and then put a black hat on his head and then a gas mask and didn't allow him to breathe. They electrocuted him, put wires on his ears, fingers, and spine all at once. They beat him with a baton on his legs. This went on for four or five hours. He lost consciousness.63
Okruashvili ultimately signed a confession.
At his first appearance in court, three days after his arrest and after he signed the confession, Okruashvili told the Mtatsiminda-Krtsanisi District Court that police had beaten him. The presiding judge ordered the procurator to investigate the allegations. After the court hearing, when Okruashvili was transferred to the pre-trial detention center the Ministry of Justice doctor who examines incoming detainees wrote a report detailing Okruashvili's injuries, including bruising around the left eye, the back of the head, and lower part of his legs.64
On June 26, 2003, the procurator's preliminary investigation found that Okruashvili must have caused the injuries to himself in order to lighten his sentence.65
After Okruashvilis appealed this decision, on June 16, 2004, the Mtatsiminda-Krtsanisi District Court ordered the procurator's office to investigate. On August 10, 2004, the Mtatsiminda-Krtsanisi procurator's office opened an investigation under article 333 of the criminal code, exceeding authority, but no charges were laid, even though Okruashvili had identified four of the six people who beat him.66 On November 10, the investigation was suspended. The Procurator General's Office stated that the conducted investigation failed to collect sufficient amount of reliable evidences in order to bring charge and the latter served the basis for suspending the proceedings for the case in question.67 The procurator's office also refused to allow Okruashvili or his lawyer to view the materials from the investigation, stating that he was a witness in the case and not a victim, since the charge related to exceeding authority and not torture. Only the victim and defendant in a case have the right to view prosecution materials.68
Okruashvili's lawyer appealed the decision to suspend the investigation to the Tbilisi City Procurator's Office. That office sent the appeal back to the Mtatsiminda-Krtsanisi District Procurator's Office, which made a decision on January 16, 2005, to deny the appeal. At the time of writing Okruashvili's lawyer was appealing the decision to the Office of the Procurator General.69
In the following case, the authorities used the inability of a torture victim to identify his torturers to impede an investigation, even though it is the authorities duty to keep records of which law enforcement officers are with a detainee at any given time. 70 On April 22, 2004, police arrested Gia Lobzhanidze and Valeri Kurtanidze on suspicion of breaking into a flat. They took them to the Didube-Chugureti district police station in Tbilisi where they reportedly kicked and beat them with the butts of their handguns. When they refused to confess to the break-in, police took the two men to the Tbilisi city police station.71
The next day Lobzhanidze's lawyer saw his client, who told him that police had beaten and electrocuted him. The lawyer told Human Rights Watch:
They used a twelve volt telephone. They turned the handle and electrocuted him. He bit a piece out of his tongue. It was all bloody and swollen. He couldn't speak [to me] and just used his hands and gestures [to communicate with me]... They put wires on the fingers of both hands and put paper around his fingers to stop any marks being left.72
An independent forensic examination confirmed injuries on Lobzhanidze's neck, arms, fingers, legs, back, and tongue, and concluded that these injuries were consistent with serious physical abuse allegations.73
Lobzhanidze's lawyer wrote a complaint to the Didube-Chugureti procurator's office, and the authorities opened a criminal investigation into the matter. He then received a letter, dated August 3, 2004, stating that the investigation had been closed because the authorities could not establish the identity of the perpetrators.74
Lobzhanidze was not able to identify the police officers who beat him.75 However, law enforcement authorities should have consulted their own records to determine who was responsible for the interrogation and who had access to him while he was in their custody.
The Procurator General's Office provided information to Human Rights Watch confirming injuries on Lobzhanidze and Kurtanidze, but stated that the injuries occurred prior to their arrest. The statement from the Procurator General's Office further states that there also exists a separate document whereby it is directly certified by the detainees that they have never been subject to ill-treatment during their presence in the Isolator [detention cell]. 76 In view of inadequate credible evidence and police officers denial of involvement in torture, the authorities decided not to initiate a criminal case.
In some cases, the threats by law enforcement officials to detainees hamper the investigation of torture allegations. This was the case in one of the most highly publicized and controversial anti-corruption cases, involving the arrest and subsequent treatment of Sulkhan Molashvili, the former president of the Auditing Chamber of Georgia.77
On April 22, 2004, Molashvili went to the office of the Tbilisi City Procurator in response to a summons. There the authorities detained him and charged him with offenses of corruption, allegedly committed while he was the president of the Auditing Chamber.78 Molashvili was transferred to the headquarters of the Ministry of Interior, where, according to testimony he gave to his lawyers and others, he was tortured. At about 2:00 or 3:00 a.m., several men came to his cell, blindfolded him with a piece of cloth and took him to a higher floor in the building. They put him in a room. He heard the door opening and closing and understood that people were coming and going. Then several people spoke to him, demanding that he admit his guilt, pay money as they instructed, and admit that he had been fulfilling the political orders of former President Eduard Shevardnadze. When he refused to comply, they handcuffed his hands behind his back, put something like paper around his wrists, and pulled his socks down. Then he felt an electric current pass through his body.79 Molashvili told an independent forensic expert:
At that moment he felt... ache in bones, buzzing in the ears, and all these then [sic] wavelike came up to the face; he felt burning pain in the face, eyes became heavy and bulging... He thought as though blood was flowing out of the ears, he had such a feeling. Even now he hear echo in his left ear and the ear grows numb.80
According to the forensic expert, the men asked Molashvili to write a confession and when he refused, they pulled the body of his sweater over his blindfolded head and he felt a burning pain on his back. He understood that they were burning him with cigarettes. They repeated this several times, as they demanded that he write a confession and threatened him with further torture. Then they repeated the electrocution. When they finished, they warned him not to talk to anyone about what happened, otherwise he would see what happened to his family members and his children, and then blame himself.81 According to his lawyers and others he spoke to, he did not tell anyone about his torture until July 2 because of the threats against his family.82
On April 23, a judge from the Vake-Saburtalo District Court in Tbilisi refused to grant bail and remanded Molashvili in custody for a period of three months.83 According to his lawyer, Molashvili did not attend the court hearing due to his poor state of health following his torture.84 He was then transferred to Prison No.1, a pretrial detention center in Tbilisi, which is under the authority of the Ministry of Justice. Later that day, he was moved to the prison hospital after complaining of a dull pain in his chest and swollen arms and legs.85
Several appeals to higher courts against the continued detention of Molashvili were unsuccessful.86
On July 2, Nana Kakabadze, the head of Former Political Prisoners for Human Rights, saw Molashvili in the prison hospital. She said that at first he did not want to talk about what had happened to him. He told her that he was fearful for his own safety and the safety of his family. But then he told her that he had been electrocuted and burnt with cigarettes. Kakabadze photographed the small circular injuries on his back.87
The same day, Kakabadze gave a press conference and made public the torture allegations. That night, apparently in response to the press conference, the authorities moved Molashvili to prison No.7, a pretrial detention center with a reputation for having particularly poor conditions.88 He was placed in a basement cell that lacked fresh air, had no artificial light or electricity, no chair, and no clock, and a tap that could not be turned off and made a constant noise of running water.89 On July 7, Matyas Eorsi, the co-rapporteur on Georgia for the Monitoring Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, along with two Georgian human rights defenders, visited Molashvili in his cell.90
After the visit, Eorsi stated publicly:
I'm shocked by the conditions in which the detainee has been kept. This is a serious violation of human rights. I met the Justice Ministry people and told them that I was shocked. No human being, however serious charges against him might be, may be kept in such conditions... Fight against corruption might be very important for the government, but I would like to emphasize that everything should be done within the limits of law. Unlawful acts are unacceptable, especially if those acts amount to torture.91
On July 5 and 6, the Forensic Examination Center of the Ministry of Health carried out a forensic examination of Molashvili. The report on the examination concluded that Molashvili had small circular scars on his back that had been caused by hot objects within the last six months.92
On July 9, Maia Nikoleishvili, an independent forensic expert, carried out an examination of Molashvili, at the request of Molashvili's lawyer. The examiner's report concluded that the injuries on Molashvili's body were consistent with his account of torture.93
On July 5, the Tbilisi City Procurator's Office opened a criminal case in relation to the torture allegations. However, on July 13, Valery Grigalashvili, the chief procurator of the Tbilisi City Procurator's Office stated publicly that Molashvili's injuries were either self-inflicted or the result of violence by fellow detainees. I know for sure that Mr. Molashvili lied when he said that he had been tortured in the detention center of the Tbilisi Chief Police Department.94
In response to this, Molashvili's lawyers made a successful application to have the investigation transferred to the Procurator General's Office. The procurator general told Human Rights Watch that Molashvili was not cooperating with the investigation and so he feared that it would not be successful.95 At the time of writing, Molashvili remained in custody awaiting trial.
During 2004, the government also targeted for arrest those it believed were involved in organized or gang crime. In one such case, on September 1, 2004, about thirty police and security officials broke into the house of Geno Kulava and detained him. On the same day they detained three other men, all of whom were former members of a partisan group, previously involved in fighting in Abkhazia. Instead of taking Kulava to the police station in Zugdidi, the closest police station, they took him to the police station in Khobi, a small town approximately forty kilometers south of Zugdidi. His lawyer, Tandila Dzologua, told Human Rights Watch that he saw Kulava approximately seven or eight hours after his detention, and he appeared in ordinary health. However, when he saw him approximately two days later, prior to the first court hearing in Zugdidi, Dzologua saw that his client had a black eye and was limping. He told his lawyer that police had beaten him. According to Dzolugua, they had handcuffed Kulavas hands behind his legs and then thread a metal bar through his arms and legs and hung him upside down, resting the ends of the metal bar on two tables. As he was hanging upside down, they beat him with rubber batons on the legs and burnt his arms and back with candles. As they tortured him, they questioned him about a kidnapping case and demanded that he admit participation in it.96
The authorities charged Kulava with illegal possession of weapons and drugs. He disputed the charges, claiming that police planted the weapons and drugs on him. Dzologua showed Kulava's injuries to a judge of the Gali-Gulirpshi District Court and asked for a medical examination to be performed. The procurator agreed to order an examination.97
The defense also organized an independent forensic examination which confirmed that Kulava had injuries consistent with his allegations of torture.98
Members of the Zugdidi branch of the Public Defenders Office visited Kulava and the other detainees arrested at the same time as Kulava and reportedly expressed their intention to bring the case to the attention of the Procuracy General and other authorities to request that a criminal investigation be opened to inquire into the torture allegations. They confirmed injuries on the detainees.99
The office of the Poti Regional Procurator opened a criminal case in relation to the allegations of torture but did not charge any police officers for the offenses. The investigation was suspended on the grounds that the perpetrators' identity could not be established, since Kulava could not identify those who tortured him, and the police from the Khobi and Zugdidi district police stations and the Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti regional police station denied injuring Kulava. 100 As in Lobzhanidze's case, it seems that the duty of the law enforcement authorities to keep an accurate record of who carried out the interrogation and who had access to him while he was in their custody was not adequately fulfilled.
Dzologua appealed Kulava's continued detention to the Sukhumi Court in Tbilisi, and on November 14, the court ordered his release from custody prior to trial. On November 15, the detention center released him. However, security officers immediately rearrested him on suspicion of involvement in the kidnapping that they had questioned him about when he was arrested previously.101
 NGOs documented from between 200 and 1000 allegations of torture during 2004. Human Rights Watch interview with Levan Ramishvili, Liberty Institute, Tbilisi, December 19, 2004; with Ucha Nanuashvili, Human Rights and Documentation Center, Tbilisi, December 15, 2004; and with Mariam Jishkariani, Empathy, December 15, 2004.
 Human Rights Watch interview with Zurab Adeishvili, procurator general, Tbilisi, December 21, 2004. Alarming Statistics Makes Law enforcers Focus on Human Rights, Civil Georgia, October 20, 2004, [online], http://www.civil.ge/eng/ (retrieved on February 14, 2005) NGO-Police-Bearing NGOs Affirm that Citizens are Beaten in Police, Caucasus Press, January 21, 2004.
 Statistics and information from the Procurator General's Office, provided to Human Rights Watch through e-mail communication, received on March 22, 2005.
 Human Rights Watch does not have information about the reasons for terminating or suspending the investigations.
 The overwhelming majority of these cases involve allegations of police violence that occurred after the Rose Revolution.
 These included the 1996 beating and use of electric shock against two murder suspects; the August 2003 forcib[le] obtaining [of] evidence from a suspect at the Khobi District Police Department and at the Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti Regional Police department; and the January 2004 resort to coercion dangerous to the life and health of a man in order to coerce him to confess to being an accessory to the murder of a well-known Georgian film director. Procuracy statistics received March 22, 2005.
 It is questionable whether this case involved assault and battery or torture as defined under the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. Statistics and information from the Procurator General's Office, provided to Human Rights Watch through e-mail communication, received on March 22, 2005. The four cases that did not result in custodial sentences were as follows:
1) Two police officers had a quarrel with a man at the train station and beat him. After a plea bargain agreement, the court ordered that the two police officers pay a 2500 lari (approximately U.S. $1,400) fine.
2) A police officer beat and shot a man in a restaurant, causing severe bodily injuries. The court released him with a three-year probation period. Prosecutors appealed, but the appeal court left the decision intact.
3) A police officer had an argument in the street with a man and beat him. The court released him on a three year probation period.
4) A police officer arrested Khvicha Kvirikashvili on suspicion of a crime and then beat him in the police station, causing minor bodily injuries. Then the police officer released him and falsified documents, including a forged signature of Kvirikashvili, in order to conceal the abuse carried out by the police officer against the suspect. Kvirikashvili died at home twenty to thirty minutes after police released him. The police officer was found guilty of charges relating to falsification of evidence, but not guilty of the charge of abuse of power by the use of violence. The court released him on one year of probation. The prosecutor appealed the decision and the appeal had not yet been heard.
 Human Rights Watch interview with Nana Kakabadze, Former Political Prisoners for Human Rights, Tbilisi, December 18, 2004.
 Ibid and Human Rights Watch interview with Eka Beselia, a lawyer who takes on human rights cases, including those involving torture and ill-treatment, Tbilisi, December 16, 2004.
 For example, a man who does not admit his guilt can still agree with the procurator to pay a sum of money to the state in return for his freedom and have this agreement confirmed by a judge with no determination being made as to his guilt. Human Rights Watch interview with Jason Reichelt and Erekle Glurjidze, American Bar Association, Tbilisi, December 17, 2004. The plea bargaining provisions are contained in articles 37(1) and 679 of the Criminal Procedure Code of Georgia. In January 2005, the Georgian government began to draft amendments to these articles, to allow plea bargaining only in cases where the defendant admits her or his guilt to the crime. Human Rights Watch telephone interview with Anna Dolidze, Georgian Young Lawyers Association, February 11, 2005.
 Article 679 of the Criminal Procedure Code does not explicitly state that defendants can pay money to the state as a result of a plea bargain. However, it states that a defendant can agree with the prosecutor on a measure of punishment. In making such an agreement, the prosecutor should take into account the gravity of a penalty envisaged for the crime committed and the degree of the actions wrongfulness and fault and the public interest towards the maximum utilization of state resources.
 Many of these cases were never brought before a judge for confirmation, and it remains unclear what legal standards governed them. Government officials, however, stated that these were cases of plea bargaining. Human Rights Watch interview with a member of the diplomatic community, Tbilisi, December 2004.
 Human Rights Watch interviews with eight lawyers, Tbilisi, December 13 to 23, 2004.
 Council of Europe, Honouring of obligations and commitments by Georgia, Report, Document 10383, December 21, 2004, Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.
 Human Rights Watch interview with Tamara Japaridze, lawyer, Tbilisi, December 17, 2004.
 DG are not his real initials. At the lawyers request, we changed the initials to protect the clients safety.
 Tamara Japaridze observed blood on DG's father's face when she arrived at the police station in the morning.
 Human Rights Watch has photographs on file of bruises to DG's arms and neck and a cut above the eye, supplied by the Human Rights Information and Documentation Center, Tbilisi.
 In the past, state medical examiners, usually from the Department of Health, lacked impartiality and lawyers and their clients frequently complained about the medical examiners' bias and lack of objectivity. An independent forensic expert told Human Rights Watch that now the quality of reports by state medical examiners varies and that some of them are objective, while others lack impartiality. Human Rights Watch interview with Maia Nikoleishvili, independent forensic expert, Tbilisi, December 15, 2005.
 The bail condition was that he report to the police station twice a week. Human Rights Watch interview with Tamara Japaridze, lawyer, Tbilisi, December 17, 2004.
 Human Rights Watch telephone interview with Tamara Japaridze, lawyer, February 9, 2005. Under the law the judge has a duty to check both whether there is a prima facie case against the defendant and that the defendant has not been coerced into making the agreement. In practice, however, judges routinely confirm agreements in short procedural hearings without giving time to examine these issues or other circumstances surrounding the case. Human Rights Watch telephone interview with Anna Dolidze, Georgian Young Lawyers Association, February 11, 2005.
 He was granted refugee status in Georgia. He was arrested with two other Chechen refugees who were also mistreated by the police. Human Rights Watch interview with Dato Chochishvili, Anzorov's lawyer, Tbilisi, December 16, 2004 and telephone interview with Dato Chochishvili, February 10, 2005.
 Human Rights Watch interview with Dato Chochishvili, lawyer, Tbilisi, December 16, 2004.
 E-mail correspondence from Maia Nikoleishvili, independent forensic expert, received by Human Rights Watch February 25, 2005, and information from the General Procurator's Office, provided to Human Rights Watch through e-mail communication, received on March 22, 2005.
 Ibid and telephone interview with Dato Chochishvili, February 10, 2005.
 Information from the Procurator General's Office, provided to Human Rights Watch by e-mail communication, received March 22, 2005.
 For a discussion of the problems of the procuracy taking on a judicial role in receiving and deciding on complaints, see Human Rights Watch, Backtracking on Reform: Amendments Undermine Access to Justice.
 Human Rights Watch interview with Zurab Jorjiashvili, lawyer, Tbilisi, December 16, 2004.
 Human Rights Watch telephone interview with Zurab Jorjiashvili, lawyer, Tbilisi, February 24, 2005.
 When investigating a case of torture, the procuracy invariably uses article 333 of the criminal code, exceeding authority, rather than article 335 of the code, torture. Human Rights Watch interview with Ana Dolidze, Georgian Young Lawyers Association, Tbilisi, December 15, 2004. This is also reflected in the statistics supplied to Human Rights Watch by the Procurator General's office. All twenty-one cases with allegations of inhumane and degrading treatment investigated by the procuracy were opened on the bases of article 333, exceeding authority. Statistics from the Procurator General's Office, provided to Human Rights Watch through e-mail communication, received on January 1, 2005.
 Statistics and information from the Procurator General's Office, provided to Human Rights Watch through e-mail communication, received March 22, 2005.
 Criminal Procedure Code, article 405. Human Rights Watch interview with Zurab Jorjiashvili, lawyer, Tbilisi, December 16, 2004 and telephone interview with Zurab Jorjiashvili, February 16, 2005.
 Ibid and telephone interview with Zurab Jorjiashvili, February 16, 2005.
 See, for example, Principles 12 and 23 of the Body of Principles for the Protection of All Persons under Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment, Adopted by General Assembly resolution 43/173 of December 9, 1988. Principle 23 (1) states: The duration of any interrogation of a detained or imprisoned person and of the intervals between interrogations as well as the identity of the officials who conducted the interrogations and other persons present shall be recorded and certified in such form as may be prescribed by law.
 One Step Forward, Two Steps Back, Human Rights Information and Documentation Center, Tbilisi, Georgia, 2004, p. 12.
 Human Rights Watch interview with Zurab Rostia, Lobzhanidze's lawyer, Tbilisi, December 19, 2004.
 E-mail correspondence with Maia Nikoleishvili, independent forensic expert, received by Human Rights Watch Febraury 25, 2005. Alternative Medical Examiner's Report from examination in pre-trial detention center no.5 on April 27, 2004, written by Maia Nikoleishvili unofficial translation provided by Zurab Rostia, Lobzhanidze's lawyer.
 Human Rights Watch interview with Zurab Rostia, lawyer, Tbilisi, December 19, 2004 and telephone interview with Zurab Rostia, February 9, 2005.
 Zurab Rostia, Lobzhanidze's lawyer, told Human Rights Watch that the police officers did not identify themselves to Lobzhanidze and that he was beaten to the point of unconsciousness and so was not in a fit state to recall clearly the identity of his perpetrators. Human Rights Watch telephone interview with Zurab Rostia, lawyer, February 24, 2005.
 Information from the Procurator General's Office, provided to Human Rights Watch by e-mail communication, received on March 22, 2005. Human Rights Watch did not interview Kurtanidzes lawyer and has no information about any abuse he endured.
 Another case of torture of detainees, Gia Vashakidze, a former deputy defense minister, and two of his associates, Eldar Gogberashvili, and Beniamin Saveblidze, arrested as a part of the campaign against corruption is outlined in Human Rights Watch, Agenda for Reform: Human Rights Priorities After the Georgian Revolution. In the campaigns against corruption and organized crime, the authorities have used not only torture but also ill-treatment as a form of pressure on detainees. Human Rights Watch has received information detailing a variety of forms of ill-treatment, inflicted on detainees who refuse to confess to a crime, including placement in cells with poor conditions such as no lighting, lack of fresh air, inadequate toilet facilities, and overcrowding, refusal to give medication and appropriate medical treatment, not supplying food and drinking water, limiting exercise, and restricting visits from family members. For example, Human Rights Watch received information in relation to ill-treatment of Tamaz Galuashvili, Davit Mirtshkhulava, and Sulkhan Molashvili. Human Rights Watch interview with Manana Kobakhidze, lawyer, Tbilisi, December 16, 2004; with Eka Beselia, lawyer, Tbilisi, December 16, 2004; and with Ioseb Baratashvili, lawyer, Tbilisi, December 14, 2004.
 The charges included abuse of authority in order to obtain an advantage or benefit, articles 332(1) and 332(3) (a) of the Criminal Procedure Code.
 Human Rights Watch interview with Ioseb Baratashvili, lawyer for Sulkhan Molashvili, Tbilisi, December 14, 2004, and certified translation of the Alternative Medical Examiner's Opinion No. 20/2004, written by Maia Nikoleishvili, July 9, 2004.
 Certified translation of the Alternative Medical Examiner's Opinion No. 20/2004, written by Maia Nikoleishvili, July 9, 2004.
 Human Rights Watch interview with Ioseb Baratashvili, Tbilisi, December 14, 2004.
 The grounds for the decision were that the charges fell within the category of serious offenses and therefore the accused, if released, could interfere with the investigation or could flee. Molashvili's lawyers argued that the gravity of the charges themselves did not provide sufficient reason to justify Molashvils continued custody, and that the judge must look at all the facts in this particular case, in accordance with standards set by the European Court of Human Rights. Human Rights Watch interview with Ioseb Baratashvili, lawyer, December 14, 2004, and e-mail correspondence with Ioseb Baratashvili, received on February 10, 2005.
 Human Rights Watch telephone interview with Ioseb Baratashvili, February 10, 2005.
 E-mail correspondence with Ioseb Baratashvili, received on February 10, 2005.
 On July 2, after 231 prominent figures wrote an open letter to President Mikheil Saakashvili requesting the release of Sulkhan Molashvili (see, Saakashvili Refuses to Help Corrupt Officials, Interfax, June 11, 2004), Saakashvili responded in an interview to Imedi TV, stating that the government would not release Molashvili until he paid back all the money he had allegedly stolen. Human Rights Watch interview with Ioseb Baratashvili, lawyer, Tbilisi, December 14, 2004.
 Human Rights Watch interview with Nana Kakabadze, Former Political Prisoners for Human Rights, Tbilisi, December 13, 2004. Copies of the photographs on file in Human Rights Watch.
 Detained Former Georgian Official Subjected to Torture, Trans Caucasus and Central Asia Newsline, Volume 8 Number 126, Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty, July 7, 2004, and Human Rights Watch interview with Nana Kakabadze, Former Political Prisoners for Human Rights, Tbilisi, December 13, 2004.
 Human Rights Watch interview with Elene Tevdoradze, chairwoman of the Human Rights and Civil Integration Committee of the Parliament of Georgia, Tbilisi, December 22, 2004, and with Ioseb Baratashvili, lawyer, Tbilisi, December 14, 2004.
 The two Georgian human rights defenders were the Chairwoman of the Human Rights and Civil Integration Committee of the Parliament of Georgia, Elene Tevdoradze, and Director of the Georgian Young Lawyers Association, Tinatin Kidasheli. PACE- Molashvili-Torture Matyas Eorsi Made Sure of Molashvili Being Tortured, Caucasus Press, July 7, 2004.
 Material provided to Human Rights Watch by Ioseb Baratashvili, lawyer, December 14, 2004. Also, see Honouring of Obligations and Commitments by Georgia, Document 10383, Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, December 21, 2004.
 Translation of medical report of P. Jibladze, medical examiner, July 5, 2004. Translation supplied to Human Rights Watch by Ioseb Baratashvili, lawyer for Sulkhan Molashvili.
 Certified translation of the Alternative Medical Examiner's Opinion No. 20/2004, written by Maia Nikoleishvili, July 9, 2004.
 Georgian Prosecutor's Office Rejects Torture Accusations, Excerpt from report by Georgian Imedi TV on July 12, BBC Monitoring, July 12, 2004. He stated that Molashvili had been accompanied by others after his arrest and so there was no time period in which the torture could have occurred. Some days later, Valery Grigalashvili stated that the procuracy would support an application to release Molashvili prior to trial if he paid the state three million lari [approximately U.S. $1.7 million], an amount equivalent to that allegedly embezzled from the state budget by Molashvili.
 Human Rights Watch interview with Procurator General Zurab Adeishvili, Tbilisi, December 21, 2004. The authorities opened an investigation for negligence of the prison doctors who examined Molashvili in custody for failing to detect injuries on him. Human Rights Watch interview with Ana Dolidze, Georgian Young Lawyers Association, Tbilisi, December 15, 2004, and The Old System Turned Everyone into a Criminal, Spiegel Online, English Site, November 26, 2004.
 Human Rights Watch interview with Tandila Dzologua, lawyer, Tbilisi, December 19, 2004.
 Human Rights Watch is not aware of the conclusions of the state medical examiner in this case.
 Human Rights Watch interview with Maia Nikoleishvili, forensic expert, Tbilisi, December 15, 2004.
 Prisoners Have Turned Out to Have Bodily Injuries, HumanRights.ge, September 7, 2004.
 Statistics and information from the Procuracy General's Office, provided to Human Rights Watch through e-mail correspondence, received on March 22, 2005, and Human Rights Watch interview with Tandila Dzologua, lawyer, Tbilisi, December 19, 2004.
 Ibid and interview with Maia Nikoleishvili, independent forensic expert, Tbilisi, December 15, 2004. Released Prisoners Taken Back to Prison, HumanRights.ge, November 15, 2004.