Georgian pilot refuses from his testimony in Russia spy case

Gabriel Ustalishvili, a pilot of Georgian Air Force, who had been convicted two years ago of spying for Russia, refused from his testimony. According to The Voice of Russia, he said that he had incriminated himself over the fear of pressure from law enforcement agencies.

"They were putting psychological pressure on those arrested in this case. There were threats - some made this, some didn't," said Ustalishvili. He admitted that he was scared "for the first time in his life." "I was confused, did not know how to behave and what to do. Law-enforcement officers told me that I would get into big trouble if I didn't plead guilty to the charges. I knew what that meant, as I had been in quarantine for four days, and I saw and heard, what they were doing to other prisoners, so I confessed," said the pilot.

In October 2010, the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia detained nine Georgian citizens and four Russians suspected of spying for Russia. Six of the nine Georgians were Air Force pilots, two others were businessmen, one was a  radio operator. In July 2011, the court sentenced two defendants to 14 years in prison, six other - to 11 years. Another one was sentenced to 13.5 years. Ustalishvili and another detainee, who confessed, were released a few months after they had been arrested.

Ustalishvili said that he had invented the details of his "spy work" on the instructions from the investigation, Vzglyad said. "Supposedly, I transmitted the information saying that there was Georgian military hardware being hid in the forests in Borjomi, and that the Russian Air Force burned the hardware in 2008," he said. "I created a whole bestseller, recollecting books and movies about spies. For example, I came up with a code word for Georgian helicopters - "parrots," said the pilot.

Ustalishvili says he will testify again to release the remaining five Air Force pilots, who were also accused of spying for Russia.

The new head of the Ministry of Justice of Georgia Tea Tsulukiani also expressed her readiness to restore justice. Meanwhile, TV Company Maestro reminded that Georgiean President Mikhail Saakashvili decorated Interior Ministry officers for that case.  

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