Three persons charged in connection with a series of violent events leading to the death of Giorgi Shakarashvili, a 19-year-old footballer, in June 2020, were freed from the courtroom on bail on January 11.
According to the lawyer of one of the suspects, the Tbilisi City Court satisfied the motion of the defense to replace the custody with a bail of GEL 1000 (USD 300) for each, with the three young men to face separate court proceedings in the future.
The prosecution agreed with the bail motion since all three suspects – Saba Chkhartishvili, Saba Gogshelidze, and Irakli Tsakadze – confessed to the charges and did not dispute the evidence, eliminating the risk of influencing the witnesses.
The three were reportedly charged under Articles 120 and 126 of the Criminal Code of Georgia, involving violence and intentional bodily injury, in relation to the initial physical and verbal confrontations that took place between the two groups of people at the teenage birthday party in Mtskheta, some 20 km away from Tbilisi.
According to the case files released earlier by the Prosecutor’s office, one of the involved groups later mobilized an additional crew to seek revenge, resulting in violence and the subsequent death of Shakarashvili.
Mirian Nikoladze, the uncle of the deceased young footballer, said that the three released on bail were not directly involved with Shakarashvili’s episodes, and they were the ones to confront the part of the other group whose members were later charged with violence and premeditated murder against Shakarashvili.
Young footballer’s body was found dead on June 22 in the basin of the Aragvi River, 4 days after he went missing following the clashes at the birthday party. The police have arrested a total of 17 persons in connection with the case. Five persons were charged with premeditated murder in August, and six suspects were found guilty of violence, group violence, and unlawful confinement in November as trials in the case continue.