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Giorgi Margvelashvili and Zaza Saralidze, June 1, 2018. Photo: President's press office

President Margvelashvili Meets Father of Teen Murder Victim

Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili went to the old Parliament building in Tbilisi this morning to meet with the father of one of the teen murder victims – Zaza Saralidze, who has been protesting the authorities’ handling of the bloody incident last December.

President Margvelashvili spoke with Saralidze for almost an hour, saying after the meeting that he would spare no efforts to make “Georgia a country that is stable, and at the same time, a country where people have the feeling of justice.”

“I wanted to share the pain of Zaza Saralidze and of many others, who have been deeply touched by what had happened. I also wanted to talk to Zaza and others, so that we ensure a peaceful, calm and stable process,” Margvelashvili said, adding he would also reach out to the Government for that purpose.

In his remarks after the meeting, Saralidze said he informed the President of “the details that were concealed” by the Prosecutor’s Office during the investigation.

Several thousand protesters gathered in Tbilisi yesterday to rally against what they described as “systemic” problems in the Prosecutor’s Office and the judiciary, following the controversial court ruling over the teen murder case.

The Court’s acquittal of both suspects in the murder of one of the teenagers – Davit Saralidze, bolstered the existing doubts of the victim’s family that the Prosecutor’s Office had concealed some elements of the crime, and prompted a spontaneous rally in front of the Prosecutor’s Office.

The protesters, including students, public figures and opposition politicians, demanded Chief Prosecutor Irakli Shotadze’s resignation, but his announcement did not end the demonstration. Later, they moved in front of the old Parliament building, where their demands radicalized and included the resignation of Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili’s government. 

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