Georgian Prosecutor’s Office to appeal district court verdict on case of 16-year-old’s death during school trip

The Georgian Prosecutor’s Office said on Wednesday it would appeal the district court ruling in the case of death of a minor in 2019 to Tbilisi Court of Appeals. Photo:, 17 Aug 2022 - 16:43, Tbilisi,Georgia

The Georgian Prosecutor’s Office announced on Wednesday it would appeal the recent ruling of Gurjaani District Court in eastern Georgia on the case of the death of a 16-year-old Sophio Nikoleishvili during a 2019 school trip to Tbilisi Court of Appeals, in a bid to ensure a stricter verdict against two teachers charged with negligence in the case. 

The Gurjaani Court sentenced one of the two teachers to three years in prison in a conditional sentence, with the other found innocent in the incident that happened during an excursion of students of Tbilisi private school Albioni, where the teenager drowned after entering the stream under a waterfall in the Lagodekhi Natural Reserve.

The Prosecutor’s Office said the teacher leading the excursion had been “well-aware of poor meteorological conditions” in the area, as well as of the plans of the deceased student to go swimming in the Ninoskhevi Waterfall Reservoir, located in the reserve in the Lagodekhi municipality.

Despite this, the teacher showed negligence, underestimated threats and limited herself to only a verbal warning [against the student’s intentions]”, the Office’s reasoning said.

In comments on the second defendant, the Prosecutor’s Office said that “despite a warning by a ranger [working for the nature reserve] on a difficult route amid the bad weather”, he had taken on the responsibility to lead the group of students to the waterfall anyway.

The office claimed the teachers’ “indifference and negligence” had caused the death of the minor in the incident.