Former Georgian minister charged with torture
Protesters rally against torture in prisons in Tbilisi on September 19.
November 13th, 2012
03:09 PM ET

Former Georgian minister charged with torture

The former interior minister of Georgia was charged Tuesday with torture and false imprisonment, state media in Russia reported.

Bacho Akhalaia resigned in September after videos surfaced on YouTube purportedly showing guards abusing prisoners.

Prosecutors said Akhalaia in February 2010 ordered guards to lock up 19 military members in unheated cells, where the men received no food for three days, RIA Novosti reported.

Akhalaia and two other military officials were charged with torture, false imprisonment, degrading treatment, physical and verbal abuse, and abuse of office, the news agency said.

In September, protests broke out after four videos became public. Georgian protesters, religious leaders and politicians all called for Akhalaia’s resignation after images.

At the time he quit, Akhalaia released a statement saying, "I am deeply horrified with the crime that has been revealed in Gldani N8 prison," referring to the facility in Tbilisi, Georgia's capital.

The country's Interior Ministry blamed certain prison employees for the degrading treatment.

But a former prison guard who left the country about four months ago and is seeking political asylum in Belgium put the blame on Akhalaia.

"I have been working in the system since 2001, but since 2005 when Akhalaia was put in charge, he introduced his criminal elements of leadership," Vladimir Bedukadze told CNN in late September.

Akhalaia, who was Georgia's defense minister from 2009 until he became interior minister in July, is being held in custody until he faces trial, RIA Novosti reported.

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Filed under: Courts • Georgia • Justice • World
soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. Bayousara

    All the people in the picture for this story look EVIL.

    November 13, 2012 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Randle

    WOW ! I think Atlanta is in Georgia. Seems like this would be a bigger story.

    November 13, 2012 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Tom

    I think HoneyBooBoo lives in Georgia.

    November 13, 2012 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Omar

    Yes. Georgia is the land of HoneyBooBoo and chewing tobacco. The land of plenty.

    November 13, 2012 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
  5. lop

    state media in Russia reported.
    RIA Novosti reported.

    Are you kidding? You know that Russian had war with Georgia in 2008 right? And you are quoting from Russian news? Should be this rely a news?.

    November 13, 2012 at 4:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Roma

      Are you from Israel?

      November 14, 2012 at 9:32 am | Report abuse |
  6. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio) "stupid IS what stupid DOES"

    CNN is in Georgia.

    November 13, 2012 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Gina

    No no no no no... Georgia is near/in Turkey, beside Syria. Not Georgia, USA.

    November 13, 2012 at 4:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Stan

      I love turkey. Almost good Thanksgiving time.

      November 13, 2012 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alex

      why would u write something you dont know???? Republic of Georgia is located on the east side of black sea coast, between Turkey and Russia. It is an independent state since the break up of soviet union in 1991.

      One of the most brave people i've ever met. Fighting for their independance for almost 25 centuries now. One of the oldest nations on the Earth.

      November 14, 2012 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Arlcruise

      Actually, Georgia borders Turkey one side and Russia the other, on the Black Sea.

      November 19, 2012 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Hide Behind

    GIVE UP!
    Can't beat a monitor who did't orcan't get any and taking out there frustrations on others combined with the worst telecommuni ations service in states, SPRINT, crappy systems.
    Returning to real world.

    November 13, 2012 at 5:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Catfish

      I love sprint. And pepperoni pizza.

      November 13, 2012 at 5:06 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Catfish

    Georgia is a wonderful state. We go there on vacation.

    November 13, 2012 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Patrice

      It is the birthplace of CocaCola, Jimmy Carter, and Kentucky Fried Chicken.

      November 13, 2012 at 5:16 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Arlcruise

    I am a Canadian, living and working in the Republic of Georgia. They are the warmest people I have ever known, a society built around family, children and love for each other, Been here two and a half years, and plan to stay into old age. Any Georgian is appaled at what happened here, it goes against any of their values. It also may have played a role in the loss of the election for their current leader, a good man whom I had met a few times.

    November 14, 2012 at 4:06 am | Report abuse |
    • Roma

      Saakashvili had launched the rockets on a neighbouring territory

      November 14, 2012 at 9:31 am | Report abuse |
  11. Hanbanan

    Thanks gina for clearing that up. I was way confused. And, patrice, are you sure about kentucky fried chicken?

    November 14, 2012 at 9:47 am | Report abuse |