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Court Finds Two, including a Senior Police Officer, Guilty of Murdering 24-Year-Old Citizen 

On September 30, the Tbilisi City Court found former senior police officer, Zurab Popkhadze, and one more person, Vakhtang Burdzenidze guilty of inflicting severe injuries, which resulted in a loss of life, and of violence against Murad Tsurtsumia, 24, and sentenced them to ten and nine years of imprisonment, respectively.

The Prosecutor’s Office reported that a brawl started near a cemetery in Tbilisi’s Varketili Third Array neighborhood after Tsurtsumia and his brother, Mukhran Chkhvirkia allegedly tried to seize Popkhadze’s car on January 2.  In response, Popkhadze and Burdzenidze apparently assaulted Tsurtsumia, who succumbed to his injuries in a hospital on January 4.

News about the incident emerged after pro-opposition TV channel, Mtavari Arkhi TV aired a story about Tsurtsumia’s death on January 6. According to the victim’s family, Tsurtsumia had been beaten severely and left to die in the cold. The TV channel also reported that relatives found Tsurtsumia only on the second day after the incident and failed to save him.  

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