Murder of Giorgi Sanaia – What was the Reason and What Will Happen Next

“Whoever has murdered Giorgi Sanaia, he has performed an action against free mass media in Georgia”, the President of Georgia announced yesterday. The Parliamentary opposition also regards that the crime was directed against democracy and free media. Besides, it is thought that Sanaia was killed in order to threaten and scare journalists. “Results of the murder clearly showed that opposite has happened in fact”, the Resonance states.

The case of murder of Giorgi Sanaia, leading journalist of the Television Company Rustavi-2, is under great attention of today’s Georgian press. The reasons and conditions of the crime have not been determined yet.

Provocation from the side of the Special Cervices has been reviewed among many versions concerning the murder. “It is clear that with the help of Georgian Special Cervices Russian Special Cervices are establishing demonstrational terror in Georgia”, Nodar Natadze, leader of the Public Frontier, told the press. The Dilis Gazeti supports the opinion: “Look, Russian mass media immediately drew a parallel between the case of Giorgi Gongadze, natively Georgian journalist working in Ukraine, whose death became a national tragedy in Ukraine and that of Giorgi Sanaia. Footprints of Special Cervices are notable in this case too. The fact itself has hurt the image of Georgia a lot”.

President Shevardnadze has confirmed that the murder had a political motive. He asked the FBI bureau for assistance in the investigation. The Resonance is not a big supporter of the Georgian government and its comment criticizes it for a paradox: the case of murder of an independent journalist is a logical consequence of the policy of Georgian government and the same government representatives claim that it should definitely be opened rapidly”. The newspaper does not loose hope though: “We really want to believe that dignity of the country will be more important than interests of mafia groups and the criminal will be captured at least this time”, the Resonance states. Giorgi Targamadze, Member of Parliament (the opposition), announced that as usual these kinds of murder cases are never opened in the post Soviet area.

It is also said that Giorgi Sanaia had known some kind of information that is why he was killed. Edvard Surmanidze, the General Secretary of “the Citizens’ Union”, excludes the version. “The only thing nobody argues about is that someone has consciously chosen a person the death of which would be shocking for everyone even in the country where people are used to total impunity of criminals”, the Resonance states.

The Law Enforcement Agencies have not disseminated any information concerning probable identity of criminal. In this particular case the Resonance agrees with Giorgi Targamadze: “Syndrome of impunity existing in the country makes us doubt that neither now anyone will be responsible for the murder of Giorgi Sanaia”. According to the press, the Law Enforcers are working on two most argumentative versions of the crime case but they keep details of the investigation in secret.

The Akhali Taoba emphases several details of the investigation: according to the Law Enforcement Agencies, there are evidences of the crime, which they do not talk about. Giorgi Sanaia had lost key of the flat were he was murdered. His mobile phone was off and it was found in his car, which seems suspecting. The Akhali Taoba and the Alia state that the police have arrested a suspect but the Law Enforcers neither admit nor deny the idea.

The Akhali Taoba spoke to Tamaz Chumburidze, head of the investigation department of chief cases. He said the crime case of predetermined murder has been initiated and the investigation is under control of General Prosecutor Gia Meparishvili. There are over 15 members in the investigative group.

The Alia is trying to make conclusions: “Several factors make us assume that the murder was ordered: 1. Giorgi Sanaia had lost key to his flat several hours (or several days) before the incident. 2. Cartridge-case of the bullet has not been found. That means the killer took it with him. It is hard to identify the gun without the cartridge-case. So it can be concluded that the killer was a professional. 3. None of the neighbors heard the gunshot, which means that the gun had a muffler. Common people never have mufflers.

“Once again I got sure that citizens are not defended in Georgia indeed and it is a shame when we talk about stability in the country”, Elene Tevdoradze, head of the Human Rights Defense Committee, told the press. This is a consequence of impunity syndrome, which became common in the country, Koba Davitashvili, member of “the Citizens’ Union” (the young wing) stated. He blamed the Law Enforcement Agencies of Georgia in it.

Large part of journalists is afraid that some political forces may use the case of murder of Giorgi Sanaia in its advantage. The peaceful meeting organized in front of the government house yesterday was an example of it. Wife of Georgia’s ex-president Manana Archvadze and her like-minded people appeared at the meeting and transformed it into a political action.

“By the way, many individuals or political forces speculated with the murder of Giorgi Sanaia. Shevardnandze and Kakha Targamadze (the Interior Minister) have been criticized a lot”, the Alia states.

Journalists, members of non-governmental organizations, and common citizens gathered in front of the State Chancellery in the evening yesterday. “This way the Georgian media expressed that it is not going to bear with the death of Giorgi Sanaia”, says the Resonance. A part of journalists made a declaration stating that they are unsatisfied with the work of the government and do not rely on it.