Afgan Mukhtarli’s lawyer: Ministry’s cameras failed to capture abduction
The wife of the kidnapped Azerbaijani journalist Afgan Mukhtari, Leila Mustafaeva and lawyer Archil Chopikashvili got acquainted with the details surrounding the case.
Mukhtarli’s lawyer Archil Chopikashvili says that the cameras that could have captured the movement of the masked kidnappers did not work. According to Chopikashvili, all these cameras belong to the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia, but they contain no records.
The lawyer fears that the crime might remain unsolved.
“There are no records, showing that our initial conclusions are still relevant. In particular, the fact that the investigation has only been launched for the sake of its announcement. Without the video recordings it will be impossible to identify the vehicle used in Mukhtarli’s abduction, thus making it impossible to reveal the truth. Despite identifying the vehicle supposed to take Muktakli home from Baratashvili bridge, no new details have emerged so far”,- said Chopikashvili.
The Prime Minister of Georgia, Giorgi Mghebrishvili, spoke with “Prime Time” about the case on June 19. He ruled out the involvement of the ministry’s employees in the kidnapping, adding further that the camera recordings do not show any uniformed police officers.
“Even if we consider the most unimaginable development of events- uniformed police officers kidnapping a man in broad daylight in the heart of the city and leaving no witnesses behind,- I can’t even conceive the theoretical possibility of something like that.
Also, in compliance with the court’s ruling, we have studied the camera recordings from all possible routes mentioned by Mukhtarli’s lawyer, and have interrogated a lot of people.
I can assure you that the recordings show no movement of people dressed in police uniform in the adjacent area during the pinpointed period of time,”- Mghebrishvili said.
Journalist Afgan Mukhtarli went to Georgia from Azerbaijan in 2014 as a result of various forms of pressure he’d been experiencing from the Azerbaijani authorities. One of his current actions are the process of communicating with the European Court of Human Rights. Recently the journalist has been collaborating with international media and organizations IWPR and Meydan.tv
Mukhtarli disappeared in Tbilisi on May 29, 2017 and was later reported to be in the hands of Azeri law enforcement officers. According to Mukhtarli, he was handed over to Azeri law enforcers with a bag pulled over his head.
The Azerbaijani court sentenced him to three-months pre-trial custody on charges of illegal border crossing and smuggling. Mukhtarli asserts that 10 000 euros had been planted on him at the border.