19-year-old Footballer Case: 1 Arrested for Perjury, 2nd Autopsy Released

The Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia announced on September 3 that it has arrested one person for perjury related to the case of death of 19-year-old footballer Giorgi Shakarashvili. According to the POG, the person had given false testimonies to law enforcers for publicity and making a career as a journalist. 

The Prosecutor’s Office stated that on July 15, the person lied to media outlets about overhearing the discussion between 4 persons connected to the 19-year-old footballer’s murder. 

According to the statement, the person was then questioned 3 times by the investigators, providing details about where and when he/she had overheard the discussion, what the 4 persons looked like and exactly what the content of their discussion was. The Prosecutor’s Office stated that after various investigative processes it was found that the person was actually at home when he/she had said to have overheard the discussion. The Prosecutor’s Office states that the person faces up to seven years in prison. 

Giorgi Shakarashvili’s body was found dead on June 22 in the basin of the Aragvi River, near the town of Mtskheta, some 30 kilometers north to the capital city of Tbilisi. 17 persons were promptly detained related to the case.

The first autopsy report, released on July 10 cited asphyxia due to drowning as the cause of Shakarashvili’s death. The report stated that the young man had sustained injuries in the head, face, right elbow and right forearm, stomach, groin and pubic bone shortly before his death. 

On August 11, the Prosecutor’s Office announced that it had charged 5 persons (out of 17 detained earlier) with premeditated murder committed under aggravating circumstances. 

Second Autopsy Report Released

The Prosecutor’s Office announced on September 3, that out of public interest, it would be releasing additional autopsy report on the young footballer’s murder.

In mid-July, soon after the first autopsy report was revealed, the Criminalistic Department at the Ministry of Interior addressed the National Forensics Bureau with additional questions about the death of Shakarashvili. In particular, the Interior Ministry was interested in the length of postmortem interval in water, as well as defining the timing of antemortem injuries. 

According to the report, Shakarashvili sustained severe head trauma which would have caused a concussion, making him unable to move. The document noted that these injuries must have been sustained 10-20 minutes before death and that his body had spent 3-4 days in the water after death.

“This report, together with other pieces of evidence in the case, unambiguously confirms the criminal charges – that the accused persons murdered Giorgi Shakarashvili,” the Prosecutor’s Office stated. 

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