The wife of a man driving a truck in which 928 kilos of heroin were found by Meghri customs officials on January 17 says her husband is innocent.
Avtandil Martiashvili, the driver, had entered Armenia from Iran and was headed for Georgia. He was arrested on the spot and charged with drug smuggling. A Turkish citizen, Osman Oğurlu, was arrested several days later in Yerevan as an accomplice.
Hetq today spoke with the driver’s wife Leyla Martiashvili.
What do you know about what happened to your husband?
He’s innocent. I swear on the life of my children and grandchildren that he is a law abiding man. He’s 61 and has never done anything bad. He’s never broken the law. He’s been a driver for forty years and makes hauls to Europe; to Turkey, Germany, Kiev, Minsk, Poland and elsewhere. Now, I don’t know what will happen.
Was he working for a company?
He was working at a place. Three months ago they sold his truck and he was left jobless. That man from Turkey (referring to Osman Oğurlu – KA) purchased the truck and told my husband to drive it. They purchased the truck three months ago in Georgia.
So they purchased it specifically for your husband?
No. They purchased it three months ago and since my husband was out of work at the time they suggested that he drive it. My husband agreed. He drove a haul from Turkey to Germany and this was the second haul. He transported pomegranates from Turkey to Germany.
Do you know whom the truck was purchased from?
No. Only Osman knows and the broker. It was the he who knew that my husband was out of work and offered him the job.
So it was Osman who organized all the haul routes? Your husband knew nothing else?
That’s right. If you only met my husband you would understand that he would never do such a thing knowingly. He’s never been involved in a court case.
Do you personally know Osman Oğurlu? Have you met him?
I met him once. He came to our house. I served him coffee.
Did your husband have a work contract with him? What was he supposed to haul?
I don’t know what the arrangement was. Just that the cargo was wood.
How many children do you have?
A boy and a girl and three grandchildren.
What is your source of income? Are you financially secure?
We’re not doing so well now. We were better off when my husband was working. I do not work, but my daughter does. My son works in construction and has two kids.
Do you have enough money to hire a lawyer from Georgia to defend your husband?
No. It’s pretty expensive. Where would I get that kind of money?
Photo: Avtandil Martiashvili