The messenger logo

Opposition Member Chairs Parliament’s Commission on Teenagers’ Murder Case

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Wednesday, June 6
Vice Parliament Speaker from the European Georgia opposition Sergi Kapanadze, will chair the parliament’s fact-finding commission on the murder case of the two teenage boys during the school brawl in December last year.

"We discussed the issue and chose Sergi Kapanadze for this very difficult and responsible position and I am sure Sergi will take full responsibility for this task,” one of the leaders of the European Georgia party Giga Bokeria said.

Kapanadze said that he will use all measures, including questioning of high ranking officials, in order to answer all the questions over the high-profile case.

The European Georgia will have nine members in the temporary commission, while other eight seats will be occupied by the Georgian Dream ruling party and the Alliance of Patriots opposition members.

Father of one of the killed boys Zaza Saralidze told the media after his meeting with Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili on Monday, that he will continue rallies to achieve the punishment of the killers of his son.

“Despite of the prime minister's promise over establishing the truth on the case, we will continue rallies.

“If the specific steps are not taken until June 10, everyone will see the results. They [the government] must detain not only the murders, but also those, who falsified the case materials. All demands remain the same for now-the system must be destroyed and the prime minister must resign," Saralidze said.

Two 16-year-old boys were stabbed to death in a school brawl in Tbilisi on December 1, 2017.

The Prosecutor’s Office charged two teenagers with ‘premeditated murder of an underage person’, and three others- for not reporting the crime.

Davit Saralidze died in hospital due to multiple wounds in his back. Levan Dadunashvili died immediately.

One of the charged teenagers was detained on December 2, while the other one, who had gone into hiding, surrendered on December 4.

On December 3, the Prosecutor’s Office admitted that the father of one of the students involved in the fight was employed by the Prosecutor’s Office.

They said the employee, Mirza Subeliani, had worked in the Department of Human Resources since 2014.

Subeliani resigned on the next day. However, Saralidze says that the man hindered the investigation process.

On June 1, 2018 the Tbilisi City Court announced its verdict.

One of the detainees was found guilty for premeditated murder of one of the victims-Levan Dadunashvili, while another detainee was found guilty for attempted murder of another victim-David Saralidze.

On the next day the teenager accused of the premeditated murder was sentenced to 14 years in prison. However, as he is a teenager, his sentence was decreased to 10 years and six months. Another detainee was sentenced to 13 years in prison and his sentence was decreased to 9 years and nine months.

The court failed to say who killed Saralidze.

Zaza Saralidze stated that the court verdict “proved” that there is someone else in the case, an alleged killer, who still walks free.

Shortly after the verdict was announced, Saralidze and his supporters went to the building of Georgia’s Chief Prosecutor’s Office and demanded the resignation of Chief Prosecutor Irakli Shotadze.

The Chief Prosecutor announced about the resignation the same day, claiming that his body has done its utmost for the fair investigation of the case.

The same evening more people gathered for the rally. Saralidze and his main ally in the process, former United National Movement activist Zviad Kuprava, who were initially demanding the fair investigation of the case, also demanded the “change of the regime.”

The Georgian PM Giorgi Kvirikashvili arrived at the rally. Despite an appeal of Saralidze to people to listen to Kvirikashvili, some threw bottles at him and he had to leave the rally.

Shortly the PM stated that the case would be re-investigated by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and not by the Prosecutor’s Office.

The Georgian Dream ruling party members say that the UNM is trying to use Saralidze’s tragedy for its political interests, while the opposition says the people showed protest to the injustice encouraged by the authorities.