MIA arrests former Prosecutor’s Office official in high profile adolescent murder case

Agenda.ge, 9 Jun 2018 - 19:27, Tbilisi,Georgia

Former high ranking official of the Prosecutor’s Office Mirza Subeliani was arrested today by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and charged with failing to inform the authorities of a murder. 

Two 16-year-old boys were stabbed to death in a school brawl in Tbilisi on December 1, 2017. Davit Saralidze died in hospital due to multiple wounds in his back, while Levan Dadunashvili died immediately. 

The court has charged two people so far, G.B. with ten years and six months for the premeditated murder of Dadunashvili and G.J. with nine years and nine months for the attempted murder of David Saralidze. 

Since the court verdict failed to identify the actual killer of 16-year-old David Saralidze who died from multiple knife wounds, his father Zaza Saralidze started a protest rally in the end of May demanding the government to hold accountable the actual killers.

PM Kvirikashvili met with the parents of David Salaridze, their lawyer and the public defender on June 4. Photo: PM's office

One of the people named by Zaza Saralidze was Mirza Subeliani as well. Saralidze accused him of protecting the real offenders.

As the MIA stated today, the investigation has proved that Mirza Subeliani visited his relatives, the Kalandia family on December 1 while they were also witnesses and accused in the murder case and on the other hand, one of the accused G.J. was also present. Investigators say that Mirza Subeliani was informed about the murder on Khorava street as well as about his relatives' involvement which he did not declare to investigative bodies. 

"Mirza Subeliani pleads guilty. Investigation proceedings are continuing around this case," MIA said in a statement released after several hours of summoning of Mirza Subeliani who faces a prison sentence of two to four years.

Despite Subeliani’s arrest, Zaza Saralidze is still criticising the investigators and demands other people named by him to be arrested as well including the wife and son of Mirza Subeliani, as well as Mikheil Kalandia who he believes also knew who was the murderer.

As Zaza Saralidze said today, the reason for Subeliani’s arrest should be not only not informing the investigation but also, the MIA must find out whether what kind of influence he had on the investigation process. He believes evidence was fabricated under Subeliani’s order.

On the other hand the Ministry of Internal Affairs claims they will identify and hold accountable all those people who are connected to the murder.

"The ministry is actively working to identify people who tried to influence those who are the part of investigation. Namely, we are currently summoning the principal of the 51th public school and experts of the Levan Samkharauli Forensics Bureau,” Deputy Interior Minister, Natia Mezvrishvili said today.

One person, Marab Morchadze, has been already arrested under the charge of influencing a witness. Investigators said Morchadze met with M.K. and asked him to give a false testimony as if he did not see the weapon of the murder in G.J.’s hands at the moment of committing the murder. 

"As a result M.K. has changed his initial testimony given to the investigators and told the court in April that he did not see the knife in the hands of the accused, G.J.,” MIA said.

Despite today’s arrests, Zaza Saralidze is going to attend a protest rally planned for tomorrow at Rustaveli Avenue at 16 pm since "the people included in a long list which was given to PM Kvirikashvili at the meeting have still not been arrested.”