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Prosecutorís Office Re-launches Investigation into Famous Journalistís Murder

By Tea Mariamidze
Monday, March 5
The Prosecutorís Office of Georgia (POG) has launched a new investigation into the high-profile case of Georgian Rustavi 2 TV anchor Giorgi Sanaia who was killed 17 years ago.

The POG decided to renew the investigation after some new details of the case emerged in late February, when prisoner Constantine Tsikhistavi told Rustavi 2 TV that the killing of a famous journalist was planned in the Georgian government and former law enforcer, Grigol Khurtsilava, who was convicted for the murder of Sanaia, did not kill the TV anchor in summer 2001.

The POG reports the investigation was launched under Article 108 of the Criminal Code which envisages intentional or premeditated murder.

Moreover, the POG says they have studied all new circumstances, talked to Tsikhistavi and to Sanaiaís family members and in order to verify new information, decided to re-launch the investigation.

ďThe Prosecutor's Office of Georgia will conduct all necessary investigative and procedural actions and the society will be informed the results obtained,Ē the POG statement reads.

Giorgi Sanaia, popular TV anchor was shot dead in his apartment in Tbilisi on July 26, 2001.

The police arrested Grigol Khurtsilava in 2001 for murder charges. The court sentenced Khurtsilava to 13 years imprisonment.

During the trial, Khurtsilava plead guilty and said that sexual abuse from Giorgi Sanaia was the reason of the murder. The family of the journalist categorically disagreed with the murder motive.

Khurtsilava was released from prison under the general amnesty four years ago.

Prisoner Tsikhistavi told Rustavi 2 on February 19, 2018 that the motive of Sanaiaís murder was his pro-western ideology, adding then government was trying to silence everyone, who was openly supporting pro-western ideas, including the killed journalist.

The prisoner assures Grigol Khurtsilava took responsibility for the murder because he was promised to be released after some period in exchange for a large sum of money,which he needed to pay some debts.

The prisoner also said that the murder was committed by Georgiaís number one terrorist from Pankisi Gorge, Shota Chichiashvili, his former boss, adding he was instructed by former general Tamaz Tamazashvili and ex- Deputy Interior Minister Vladimer Bakuradze to kill the journalist.