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Murder of Buta Robakidze on agenda

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Monday, December 3
A former official was detained for one of the most well known murders that took place in 2004. Special statements concerning the murder of 19 year-old Buta Robakidze were made by prosecutor Archil Kbilashvili on November 30.

According to Kbilashvili, the former head of the Tbilisi patrol police, Zurab Mikadze, had been detained regarding Robakidze’s murder. Mikadze and other individuals have been accused in exceeding official powers, the illegal use of firearms and coercing others into fabricating testimony.

Robakidze was shot by a patrol police officer in November 2004; the police initially claimed that Robakidze and his companions were dangerous, armed individuals and policemen acted in self-defense.

On November 24 of 2004, a car belonging to Robakidze’s friend, Kakhaber Azarashvili, was stopped by the patrol police officers. There were six men in Azarashvili’s car including Buta Robakidze. All the individuals came out of the car and one of them, Robakidze, was shot by a patrol police officer, Giorgi Bashaleishvili. Bashaleishvili was charged with negligent homicide.

Despite the policeman who shot Robakidze being convicted, Robakidze’s family has been campaigning actively since then demanding punishment of those involved in the fabrication of the crime scene by bringing in Kalashnikov assault rifles in an attempt to describe the victim as a dangerous criminal.

Kbilashvili claimed that after killing Robakidze, the patrol police head Mikadze and other policemen arrived to the scene and to protect the police from humiliation, brought various weapons and brought in the car of Azarashvili to portray the man and his friends as gang members.

Tbilisi Civil Court sentenced Mikadze to bail GEL 16, 000; this fact was protested by Robakidze’s family members. According to them, the decision was unfair and Mikadze should have been sent to prison. They intend to appeal the Civil Court’s decision. Robakidze’s family members left the trial early.

“It was an unfair decision. In the case the court does not fulfill its obligation and does not punish the criminals, I will do this. I am not afraid to spend years in prison. I will not let my son’s killers walk freely,” Robakidze’s father stated.

Robakidze’s grandfather claimed that Mikadze’s action during the trial and his indifferent attitude towards the process especially irritated family members.

Mikadze’s lawyer, Koba Kobakhidze, stated that Mikadze was first questioned concerning the case and the former patrol police official has given true testimony.

“He has stated that when he first saw the dead boy there were no weapons in the car; later they somehow appeared. If he were asked about this earlier he would respond,” Kobakhidze said, adding that Mikadze has been feeling bad concerning the detail for years…

Kobakhidze also emphasized that during the trial, the prosecutor tried to influence the court.

It was announced later that one additional official was called to the prosecutor’s office concerning Robakidze’s ca/se. According to the chief prosecutor’s press service, Levan Gvazava, the former deputy of the former Interior Minister will be questioned. However, time when Gvazava will have to answer questions was not named.