Police Seize Firearms from Flat of Judge’s Brother

Georgia’s Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) reports it has seized various firearms and cartridges during a search of the Batumi apartment belonging to Otar Tsotsoria, the brother of Strasbourg European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) Judge Nona Tsotsoria. The ministry has launched an investigation under Article 236 of the Criminal Code of Georgia, pertaining to illegal acquisition, storage, transportation or sale of firearms.

Otar Tsotsoria says two hunting guns seized belong to him, but did not claim the others found. He alleges the weapons were planted in his house: the suspect says this is an attempt at ‘revenge’ against his sister. He added that the law enforcement also visited him around a month and a half ago. “This is pressure and revenge, what else can I call it,” Otar Tsotsoria said.

The MIA said the apartment search was observed by Tsotsoria's lawyer. However, the lawyer says he was not allowed to attend the search process.

Georgia’s Vice-Premier and Education Minister, Alexander Jejelava, said that Otar Tsotsoria's allegations are ‘groundless.’ Jejelava says the law is above everyone, and the fact that Tsotsoria is the brother of the judge does not give him any privileges.

“Of course, every person who violates the law wants to think of some defense and in this case it is a defense strategy. We say that nobody is above the law, neither the brother of the judge nor the brother of the minister and nobody at all,” Jejelava said.

Examination of the seized weapons will reveal if Tsotsoria is linked to them or not.

By Thea Morrison

19 May 2017 13:41