LAW
“Tell me, what did my son do to deserve getting shot in the head twice?
09 October, 2014
“Tell me, what did my son do to deserve getting shot in the head twice?
Family of 21-year-old Mirza Gochuadze, who was murdered by a policeman, demands the harshest possible punishment for the culprit; Zaza Gochuadze, the victim’s father, threatens with personal vengeance otherwise… On the 3rd of October, in Saghoria district of Kutaisi, a policeman shot Mirza in the head. He was urgently delivered to Kutaisi Central Hospital, but doctors failed to save the mortally wounded youth.

As the Ministry of Internal Affairs has declared, operatives of the Administrative Department of Imereti, Racha-Lechkhumi and Kvemo Svaneti engaged in pursuit of a suspect in a theft that they were investigating. The suspect, however, did not obey commands issued by police officers, resisted arrest and attempted to escape in his car. One of the police officers started shooting at the car…

Zaza Gochuadze, Mirza’s father:

– They killed my son… Tell me, what did my son do to deserve getting shot in the head twice? I want someone to explain this to me, because I am sure as hell not going to be silent about this. And if justice attempts to sweep this murder under the rug, we, the whole family, will not stand by this; we will not allow someone else’s son to get murdered tomorrow due to police misconduct. You, the journalists, are being told terrible things about Mirza, and then you publish them. But my son was not a criminal or a villain. He was a respectable, decent, kind and loving boy. He worked in Turkey so that he could have his own income, and he worked hard – have you seen what his hands look like? It’s been two days since he returned from Turkey, and I didn’t even get to see him…

Irakli, Mirza Goduadze’s friend:

– Many versions of what exactly happened on the 3rd of October started circulating after Mirza’s death, but one thing I know for certain is that he was not guilty of robbing that shop. Mirza was not a thug or a robber; he was an ordinary, cheerful fellow. He loved life and would do anything for his friends. He worked in Turkey and came here for a few days just to visit. If he was a criminal and a brigand, he wouldn’t have gone abroad looking for work.

– There exists information that he had three previous convictions…

– I don’t know about three, but I know that he was tried for a crime in the past. No idea what he
did, though… We, his local friends, got acquainted to him after he was released from prison. His parents are divorced and Mirza was raised by one very decent woman. He name is Ana, although I don’t remember the surname. They lived in Kutaisi together.

– So what happened on that day, then?

– On that day, Mirza borrowed his friend’s car for a drive around the district. He didn’t have his own car, but he wanted one very much, although he didn’t have a driving license. Policemen took him for the guy who robbed a shop the day before and started tracking him. They had people dispatched all over the district to watch him. When they actually started to chase him, he accidentally ended up in a blind alley. Seeing that there was nowhere to go, he tried to pull back, but the moment he left the alley, the police shot him, right in the head. He had two bullet wounds…

– Why didn’t he stop when the police told him to?

– I already told you – he didn’t have a driving license; this is the most likely reason. Mirza was not the guy who barged into that shop and stole chocolate and cigarettes. He simply couldn’t have done such a thing. And since he just came back from Turkey, he definitely had money to spare. Besides, the window through which the robber got into that shop was too small for an adult like Mirza. It was probably the handiwork of some children, but since Mirza had a criminal record, he immediately ended up on the suspect list – despite the shop having both an alarm system and surveillance cameras. Rumor has it that the footage is already in police custody. Everyone is very interested in what was caught on tape by the cameras.

– According to Gureshidze, one of Mirza’s friends, the police threatened him on the phone. Did you hear or experience anything of the like?

– No, I never heard of anything like that. And I didn’t receive such calls, either.

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