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President posthumously awards the heroine of a notorious murder case

By Messenger Staff
Thursday, December 24
The President of Georgia, Giorgi Margvelashvili, has posthumously awarded Irina Enukidze, the mother of the deceased Sandro Girgvliani who was murdered under the previous state leadership, with Queen Tamar’s medal for civil devotion and distinguished action.

According to the President, Irina Enukidze was a special woman, fighting for human life and other people’s children.

“I declared the year of 2015 as the year of women. As the year is coming to an end, I have decided to award several distinguished women who made significant contributions to our country and society. I have started with Irina Enukidze. She was a symbol of the fight for humanity, human rights and the right to live. She fought against violence even as her son was killed. She fought to save other people’s children, our children, and the fight claimed her life. I would like to focus on her contribution to our people and the nation,” Margvelashvili said.

The Prosecutor’s Office claims that on January 27, 2006, at Cafe Shardin in Tbilisi, Alexandre (Sandro) Girgvliani had a verbal argument with Tamar Merabishvili, the wife of the former Interior Minister Ivane Merabishvili, and her friend Tatia Maisuradze, sitting at the table of David (Data) Akhalaia, the former Head of the Constitutional Security Department. On the orders of Data Akhalaia, officers of the Constitutional Security Department (who were summoned to the place of incident) forced Girgvliani and his friend into a car, illegally took them into the countryside, and led them to the Okrokana Cemetery.

The kidnappers kept Girgvliani and his friend in unbearably cold conditions and severely beat them up. The corpse of the tortured Girgvliani was discovered next morning in the vicinity of Okrokana Cemetery, while his friend was found alive.

After the incident, Enukidze did not stop fighting for a fair investigation into the crime and the punishment of the high-ranking officials responsible. She was a symbol of fighting against injustice and she rallied all those who faced a similar situation.

She died in August 2007 due to a fatal illness.

However, her family and friends continued her fight, which reached a culmination in April 2011 when the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg partially satisfied a lawsuit filed by the Girgvliani family against the Georgian government.

The Court ruling said the investigation into Girgvliani’s death "clearly lacked independence, impartiality, objectivity and thoroughness”. The Court ordered the Georgian government to pay 141,000 GEL in compensation to the Girgvliani family for moral damage.

In October 2014, under the new state leadership Tbilisi City Court delivered a guilty verdict against Georgia’s former Interior Minsiter Merabishvili and other ex-officials involved in the Girgvliani murder case. The ex-Minister was charged with abuse of authority and fraud, as he had faked testimonies related to the case.

Enukidze showed great bravery, as she might also have been targeted. Her activities proved that civil activeness always has a meaning, and that Georgia requires a strong civil society.