Georgian authorities must pay €25,000 over Temirlan Machalikashvili murder
Georgian government fined
The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg announced a ruling on the murder of Temirlan Machalikashvili and ordered the Georgian government to pay 25,000 euros, 10,000 shall compensate the applicant for non-pecuniary damage and 15,000 to cover legal costs.
The Machalikashvili and Others v. Georgia judgment states that:
● The Court unanimously concluded that Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights (right to life) was violated in procedural aspect. The court, by six votes to one, also concluded that Article 2 of human rights had not been violated in material terms;
● That the authorities failed to comply with the requirements of the investigation under Article 2 of the Convention; that there is no evidence that the death of Temirlan Machalikashvili falls under the responsibility of the state. The court was unable to identify a violation of the right to life and found a violation only within the framework of the consideration of the case.
The interests of the Machalikashvili family were defended by the Center for Social Justice, whose head, Tamta Mikeladze, said that the decision gives them “the opportunity to reopen and investigate the case at the national level.”
“The European Court always says that this is not a court of fourth instance, which will examine the case on the merits or find evidence. Even under such circumstances, fundamental flaws in the investigation have again and again denied the court the opportunity to assert a material breach under the high standard of proof it has under Article 2,” Mikeladze explains.
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Case of Temirlan Machalikashvili
On December 26, 2017, during an anti-terrorist operation in the Pankisi Gorge, a special forces officer shot a local resident, 19-year-old Temirlan Machalikashvili, in the head.
Special forces broke into the house of the Machalikashvili family late at night when the family was sleeping. Temirlan was shot in his bedroom whilst in bed.
According to police, Tamirlan had a connection with terrorists and was shot when he tried to set off a hand grenade. His family denies the existence of a grenade and any connection to terrorists.
Human rights activists also have questions for police. They say the authorities have not yet provided evidence of Temirlan’s alleged terrorist connections.