The Tbilisi City Court found today Giorgi Menabde guilty of premeditated murder of Davit Saralidze in December 2017 and sentenced him to 14 years in prison, the court confirmed to Civil.ge.
According to the Juvenile Justice Code, however, his sentence was reduced by 1/4 and Menabde will have to serve 10 years and six months in jail.
Police arrested Menabde on April 15, 2021 on charges of premeditated murder in connection with the controversial Khorava street incident in Tbilisi, which left two 16-year-olds – Davit Saralidze and Levan Dadunashvili – stabbed to death.
The Interior Ministry said then that Menabde, together with Giorgi Janashia and Mikheil Kalandia, who were found by the court guilty into the same murder case, stabbed Saralidze to death using sharp objects.
Interpressnews news agency cited Menabde’s defense lawyers as saying that they will challenge the court ruling in an upper instance court.
The Tbilisi City Court passed the first verdict into the case on May 31, 2018. One of the suspects, Guga Barbakadze, was found guilty of premeditated murder of Levan Dadunashvili and was sentenced to fourteen years in prison.
Another convict, Giorgi Janashia, who was found guilty of attempted murder of Davit Saralidze, was sentenced to thirteen years in prison.
But both convicts were acquitted on group murder charges of Davit Saralidze, thus the Court failed to identify the perpetrator in Saralidze’s murder case. The decision triggered widespread protests in Tbilisi and led to the resignation of then Chief Prosecutor, Irakli Shotadze.
Afterwards, following seven-month review, the Court of Appeals in Tbilisi in June 2019 requalified initial charges of attempted murder of Davit Saralidze against Giorgi Janashia into charges of partaking into group murder. G.J. was sentenced to 11 years and three months in jail.
Also in February 2020, the Georgian Dream-led Parliament returned Shotadze back to the Prosecutor General’s post.
Follow our tag for earlier developments regarding the controversial case. Also Read:
- The Khorava Street Murders: Justice Delayed, Justice Denied
- Protesters Demand Fair Investigation of Teen Murder Case