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Court of Appeals Announces Teen Murder Case Sentence

Following seven-month review, the Court of Appeals announced today its final decision regarding the sentences for two teenagers convicted in the controversial Khorava street incident. In December 2017, a brawl between the teenage students left two 16 year-olds – Davit Saralidze and Levan Dadunashvili – stabbed to death.

According to the Court, the sentence of one of the convicts (identified as G. B.), who was found guilty of premeditated murder of Levan Dadunashvili, has been aggravated and he will stay in jail for 11 years and three months.

As for another convict (identified as G. J.), the Court partially took into consideration the prosecution’s arguments and re-qualified initial charges of attempted murder of Davit Saralidze, into charge of partaking into group murder, sentencing him to 11 years and three months in jail.

Commenting on the court ruling, Zaza Saralidze, father of Davit Saralidze, said that “it was the first huge step towards restoration of justice” and that “the struggle will continue.”

“Nobody should think that I will step aside. I call on the government that it has little time left. This struggle will not stop and everybody will be held accountable… I call on everyone to refrain from using my son and my family for political purposes,” he told reporters after the court hearing.

Saralidze’s lawyer, Nestan Londaridze said that “the court pointed out to the prosecutor’s office that the case requires further investigation, there are persons left unidentified in this case and no steps have been taken to identity them.”

Prosecutor Tornike Nadiradze said that the court partially accepted the prosecution’s motion and found G. J guilty to Saralidze’s group murder case. “As soon as we receive the complete ruling, we will decide how to act,” he added.

The Tbilisi City Court announced 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 Davit Saralidze, was sentenced to thirteen years in prison, but his sentence was also reduced to nine years and nine months. Both convicts were acquitted on group murder charges of Davit Saralidze that triggered widespread protests in Tbilisi and resignation of then Chief Prosecutor, Irakli Shotadze.

This post is also available in: Georgian Russian

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