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Arrested for Girgvliani’s case speaks about privileges

By Mariam Mchedlidze
Tuesday, August 26
Former police officer Mikheil Bibiluridze, who was sentenced for Sandro Girgvliani’s murder case, has gave a scandalous interview to Kviris Palitra newspaper. He stresses that the individual responsible for the murder was the former chief of the Constitutional Security Department, Data Akhalaia.

Bibiluridze also said that he and two others sentenced for Girgvliani’s murder had special privileges in prison. According to him, the former Minister of Internal Affairs Vano Merabishvili and the former Head of Penitentiary system Bacho Akhalaia used to visit them in the cell.

“Both of them used to visit and drink with us. Merabishvili encouraged us and told us that soon we would be with our families. Bacho also knew that we had saved his brother,” Bibiluridze said.

Bibiluridze stated that the former employee of the Constitutional Security Department and friend of Data Akhalaia, Oleg Melnikov, was the main partner for him as well.

Oleg Melnikov was arrested in 2012 and he had pleaded guilty to all of his crimes. He also testified against the former head of the Constitutional Security Department, Data Akhalaia, the former Minister of Justice, Zurab Adeishvili, and President Mikheil Saakashvili, with regard to Sandro Girgvliani’s murder case.

Sandro Girgvliani’s murder case is one of the most notorious criminal cases under the previous government. Sandro Girgvliani 28, was kidnapped and found dead in 2006 after his incident with former officials at a Shardeni Bar. Tako Salakaia, Vano Merabishvili’s wife, was among the officials celebrating the Inspector General of the Ministry of Internal Affairs Vasil Sanodze’s birthday. Several law-enforcers were arrested and soon released for the murder.

Girgvliani’s family members state that Salakaia was one of the key initiators of the “punitive actions” against Girgvliani. They are demanding her questioning and punishment.

Salakaia said the statements against her were lies and the recognition made by Melnikov over the case. She stressed that she was ready to answer all the questions.