Murder in Marriott Hotel
By Mzia Kupunia
Friday, January 28
Police detained a person suspected of murdering a French citizen in Courtyard Marriott hotel, law enforcers reported on Thursday. According to the police, the suspect is a teenage person and his identity has not been revealed. In video footage released by the Georgian Interior Ministry, the suspect confessed to have killed the French citizen. The suspect said he killed Stephan Cohen due to a “dispute.” He said he stabbed the foreign citizen first with a knife in his throat. According to the law enforcers, the murder suspect took some of the belongings of Cohen, including a photo camera and a laptop and escaped from a balcony of the hotel.
A French citizen, representative of a French company Systra in Georgia, was killed in Courtyard Marriott hotel on Thursday night, Georgian news agencies reported on January 27. According to the Georgian law enforcers, which have initially refused to disclose the name of the dead person, his body was found in the hotel room with several knife wounds. According to Rustavi 2 TV Company, Cohen arrived to Georgia 3 days ago and was dealing with regulating transport routes in the capital Tbilisi in cooperation with the Tbilisi Mayor’s Office.
The representatives of the Georgian Interior Ministry, which has launched an investigation into the murder case, said several hours after the murder that the identity of the suspect is already known to the law enforcers; however the Ministry officials refrained from giving out any other details due to the “interests of the investigation.” According to Rustavi 2, on the night of the murder the CCTV cameras installed in the hotel caught the face of a person who was inside the room of the murdered French citizen. “Now the investigators know the possible murder suspect,” the TV Company reported, adding that the murderer left the hotel building after committing the crime, via the hotel balcony.
While the representatives of the law enforcement agencies refrained from making comments on the murder of the French citizen, the head of the Security Service at Courtyard Marriott Hotel told journalists that the murderer should have been an acquaintance of the murdered French man. “We confirm that the regretful incident happened between one of our guests and his private guest in one of the rooms of the hotel,” Security Service head, Zaza Kvaratskhelia said “I would like to stress that according to our regulations, a stranger cannot enter the hotel room without permission or goodwill of the hotel guest,” he added. The hotel administration refrained from revealing any additional details.
The murdered French citizen’s body was taken to Tbilisi's main morgue for analysis. Experts have also declined to give comments, saying that no conclusion has been drafted about the murder case so far. “When there is a preliminary conclusion, the document will be sent to the investigators, and they will decide if the document will be made public or not. We have no right to make any comments without the permission of an investigation,” the Expertise Bureau press service stated.
Experts from the Bureau have reported that the representatives of the French Embassy contacted them and informed that if all necessary documents are ready, the body of the French citizen will be moved from the morgue to Tbilisi International Airport terminal by 2 pm on Friday and be carried out to France by 5 pm the same day.
The French Embassy has made no official comment on the murder case so far.
As the passer by told us it is safer in Tbilisi streets than in Marriott.