One More Arrested over Khorava Street Murder Case
Police announced on April 15 that they have arrested one more person (identified as G.M.) on charges of premeditated murder in connection with the controversial Khorava street incident in Tbilisi in December 2017, which left two 16 year-olds – Davit Saralidze and Levan Dadunashvili – stabbed to death.
According to the investigation, the detainee, together with Giorgi Janashia and Mikheil Kalandia, who were found by the court guilty into the same murder case, stabbed Davit Saralidze to death using sharp objects.
Probe has been launched under Article 109 of the Criminal Code of Georgia, involving premeditated murder committed by a group of persons in aggravating circumstances, punished by imprisonment for a term from 13 to 17 years.
The Tbilisi City Court passed the teen murder case sentences on May 31, 2018. One of the suspects (identified as G. B.), was found guilty of premeditated murder of Levan Dadunashvili, was sentenced to fourteen years in prison (but his penalty was reduced pursuant to the country’s Juvenile Justice Code, and subsequently, he was sentenced to 10.5 years in prison). Another convict (identified as G. J.), who was found guilty of attempted murder of Saralidze was sentenced to thirteen years in prison (but his sentence was also reduced to nine years and nine months).
But both convicts were acquitted on group murder charges of Davit Saralidze, thus the Court failed to identify the perpetrator in Saralidze’s murder case. The decision triggered widespread protests in Tbilisi and resignation of then Chief Prosecutor, Irakli Shotadze.
Afterwards, following seven-month review, the Court of Appeals in Tbilisi in June 2019 requalified initial charges of attempted murder of Davit Saralidze against G.J. into charges of partaking into group murder. G.J. was sentenced to 11 years and three months in jail. Then in February 2020, the Tbilisi City Court found Mikheil Kalandia, one of the key witnesses into the case, guilty of premeditated murder of Davit Saralidze, and sentenced him to 15 years. However, according to the Juvenile Justice Code, his sentence was reduced by 1/4 and Kalandia will have to serve 11 years and three months in jail.
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