Main witness charged with murder of teenager sent to pre-trial detention

The detainee says that he is innocent. Photo: IPN., 06 Jun 2019 - 16:21, Tbilisi,Georgia

One of the main witnesses in the high-profile murder case of two schoolboys in 2017 in a school brawl, who was also a minor that time, Mikheil Kalandia has been sent to pre-trial detention.

Kalandia was charged with premeditated murder of David Saralidze by a group, in aggravating circumstances yesterday.

He does not admit to the crime.

Kalandia’s family says that the case has political grounds and the government is trying to calm the turmoil around the case ahead of 2020 elections.

Father of deceased Saralidze, Zaza Saralidze, states that “the justice has been factually restored”.

The boys killed in the school brawl, David Saralidze and Levan Dadunashvili. Photo: reginfo.

Last year the Tbilisi City Court failed to say who killed Saralidze and sentenced G.J. to nine years in prison for attempted” murder of Saralidze, while another detainee, G.B, also a minor, was sentenced for the murder of Levan Dadunashvili, another boy killed in the brawl.

The Court of Appeals ruled on June 3 that Saralidze was killed by G.J. and that he committed the offence with “other individuals” who helped him to inflict multiple injuries to Saralidze during the incident on Khorava Street in central Tbilisi.

The court sent G.J. to 11 years and three months in prison for premeditated murder.

Kalandia changed his testimony several times during the investigation.

Now his father says that law enforcers physically insulted him and his sons to obtain the “desired evidence” from them in December 2017, shortly after the school brawl.

10 individuals have been charged with different offences in the case: participation, giving false testimony and not reporting a crime among them.