Prosecutor’s office closes investigation of high-profile Machalikashvili case, reveals ‘no abuse of authority’

The father of Temirlan Machalikashvili, who has been protesting the death of his son since early 2018, says that the Prosecutor’s Office carried out ‘no investigation’ into his son’s case. Photo: RFE/RL., 28 Jan 2020 - 15:20, Tbilisi,Georgia

The Georgian Chief Prosecutor’s Office has ended its investigation into the high profile Temirlan Machalikashvili case, that of a 19-year-old terrorist suspect who received a fatal injury during an anti-terrorist raid in Georgia’s Muslim-populated Pankisi Gorge back in 2017.

The Prosecutor’s Office spokesperson stated at a special briefing earlier today that they uncovered ‘no abuse of authority’ in the case, stating that a special unit serviceman ‘was forced to shoot as Machalikashvili refused to show his hands and attempted to activate a hand grenade.”

With the statement the Prosecutor’s Office challenged the Machalikashvili family who say that ‘Temirlan had no links with terrorists and was shot by mistake when he was asleep,’ and who have been demanding the punishment of former, top security officials and those involved in the raid.

The Prosecutor’s Office says that the investigation conducted was ‘comprehensive and perfect,’ with 124 individuals interrogated, various investigative procedures carried out and more than 10 examinations or autopsies done.

The Machalikashvili family have been demanding the punishment of former head of the Georgian State Security Service Vakhtang Gomelauri [who is now an interior minister] and Gomelauri's former deputy Ioseb Gogashvili.  Photo: Parliament of Georgia press office.

All members of the Machalikashvili family, their neighbors and all the 32 special unit servicemen involved in the raid were interrogated,” the Prosecutor’s Office says.

Malkhaz Machalikashvili, father of Temirlan Machalikashvili, says that there was “no investigation” of the case at all as ‘top state officials are involved in the crime.'

The family has sued against Georgia at the European Court of Human Rights which has already launched discussions around the case.

  • Temirlan Machalikashvili died on January 11, 2018 due to a shot in the head he received during December 26, 2017 raid in Pankisi.
  • The December raid came after the anti-terrorist raid in Tbilisi on November 21-22, 2017 which saw Islamic State terrorist Ahmed Chatayev and his accomplices killed.
  • Georgia’s State Security Service stated then that Chatayev and his group planned attacks on diplomats in Turkey and Georgia and Machalikashvili and four others from Pankisi were proving support from them.