Parliament Approves Teen Murder Probe Commission

The Parliament of Georgia approved at its special sitting today the 17-member interim commission that will probe into the controversial Khorava street incident last December, which left two 16 year-olds – Davit Saralidze and Levan Dadunashvili – stabbed to death.

The opposition European Georgia party will have the majority representation in the commission, and its members will include: Sergi Kapanadze, Irakli Abesadze, Irma Nadirashvili, Khatuna Gogorishvili, Giga Bokeria, Otar Kakhidze, Elene Khoshtaria, Sergo Ratiani and Mamuka Chikovani.

Commission members from the ruling Georgian Dream party will be: Archil Talakvadze, Mamuka Mdinaradze, Eka Beselia, Sopio Kiladze, Anri Okhanashvili and Dimitri Tskitishvili. The commission will also include the Alliance of Patriots’ Ada Marsharia, whose candidacy for the chairmanship was voted down today, and independent MP Salome Zourabichvili.

The fourth parliamentary party – the United National Movement – refused to participate in the commission’s work, slamming the initiative as the ruling party’s attempt to delay the investigation. “Creation of the commission is an attempt to overshadow the societal consensus that the system must be dismantled,” UNM’s Salome Samadashvili stressed.

Also today, the Parliament approved European Georgia’s Sergi Kapanadze as the commission chairman with 91 votes. The commission will start its work upon approval and its tenure will last for three months.

The decision to establish the commission was approved by the Parliament on May 31, shortly after the Tbilisi City Court acquitted both suspects on group murder charges of Davit Saralidze, effectively defying the prosecution’s version of the incident and prompting large-scale protests across the country.

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