12:40 GMT +3 hours29 November 2014
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Georgia to Set up Torture Probe

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An independent team will be created in Georgia to investigate prison torture allegations, a Georgian minister said on Tuesday.

An independent team will be created in Georgia to investigate prison torture allegations, a Georgian minister said on Tuesday.

“I’ve spoken to the president and the team will be established within the next 10 days,” said Georgy Tugushi, minister for the enforcement of punishment and legal assistance.

The team will be funded from the state budget, he added.

“It will have a broad mandate and will be able to initiate independent inquiries,” he said.

If the commission demands that a particular person needs to be arrested, they will be arrested, the minister said.

Georgia’s top police official, Interior Minister Bachana Akhalaia, resigned on Thursday and was replaced First Deputy Interior Minister Ekaterina Zguladze.

The resignation came on the third day of protests in Tbilisi over claims that inmates at a facility in Tbilisi, Gldani Prison Number 8, were subjected to torture. The protesters, as well as religious leaders and politicians, had all called for Akhalaia’s resignation.

Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili has vowed to punish the people responsible for the torture.