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Lawyer Abandons Suspect in Smiths’ Brutal Murder

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Tuesday, July 24
Lawyer David Girgvliani, who was defending the 19-year-old Malkhaz Kobauri, accused of premeditated murder of Ryan and Lora Smith and their 4-year-old son in Khada Gorge of Georgia on July 4, says that he refuses to defend the suspect.

Despite the fact, Girgvliani did not name the exact reason of the decision in his statement, which came shortly after the reports of Rustavi 2 and Imedi TV, saying they had obtained the autopsy conclusion which reads that Kobauri’s genetic profile was found in Lora Smith’s body, pointing to the fact that she was raped before death.

Girgvliani said some would call his action “unprofessional”, but he was not going to defend Kobauri any longer.

He stated that his motivation to defend Kobauri was that he wanted to establish the truth over the case and that “he has always fought against injustice.”

In his previous statements Girgvliani seemed confident that Kobauri was innocent and that the 19-year-old shepherd was a “scapegoat.”

Mtskheta court in eastern Georgia sent Kobauri to pre-trial detention on July 11 for the brutal murder of the Smith Family on July 4.

Kobauri does not admit to the crime and speaks about "two foreigners” who killed the family and threatened him to conceal the truth.

The case prosecutor says that a verbal dispute between Kobauri and Ryan Smith emerged because of the rifle the shepherd had with him.

“Ryan Smith made a remark to Kobauri, who was drunk, and said that he was not cautious with the weapon, especially in the presence of the child,” prosecutor David Kazarashvili told the court.

Kazarashvili said that during the dispute Kobauri shot Ryan Smith, while Lora Smith tried to escape and fell from a cliff.

The prosecutor did not mention rape during the trial, but the Interior Ministry confirmed in its previous statements that the alleged rape of Lora Smith was also being investigated.

Kobauri himself showed the site to the police where the child’s body was buried.

Kobauri is facing life imprisonment if found guilty.