Merab Morchadze, who was arrested in June in connection with the controversial Khorava street murder case and sentenced by Tbilisi City Court to two years in prison on November 9, was released from the courtroom after the court approved a plea bargain deal between him and the prosecution.
The court found that Merab Morchadze coerced one of the witnesses to the Khorava street incident, which left two 16 year-olds – Davit Saralidze and Levan Dadunashvili – stabbed to death, to change his initial court testimony.
According to the chief prosecutor’s office, Morchadze promised the witness to ensure for him the support of media, society and “influential persons.”
“Considering that he [Morchadze] has pleaded guilty, cooperated with the investigation and simultaneously had no past convictions, a plea agreement was achieved with him,” the prosecutor’s office said in a statement released on November 9. The Court decided to replace Morchadze’s two-year imprisonment by two-year conditional sentence.
Commenting on the court ruling, Zaza Saralidze, father of Davit Saralidze, said that Morchadze was “sacrificed” to defuse tensions that saw thousands hit the streets over the summer. “I do not know why he was found guilty and why he was charged. I do not know who this person is. I demand the punishment for the murderers of my son,” he noted.