Two arrested for 2008 illegal detention, premeditated murder of armed forces officer under previous Gov’t

The Prosecutor General’s Office of Georgia said the investigation into the criminal case was ongoing. Photo: PoG, 12 Feb 2024 - 16:14, Tbilisi,Georgia

Two individuals have been arrested in the latest phase of the investigation into illegal detention and premeditated murder of Roin Shavadze, a Brigade Sergeant of the Georgian armed forces, under the United National Movement Government in 2008, the Georgian Prosecutor General’s Office said on Monday.

The body said its “comprehensive investigation” into the death of the officer, who served in that year’s conflict with Russia, involved the launch of criminal proceedings against 10 individuals last year.

The inquiry was started following the European Court of Human Rights’ ruling in November 2020, which found claims by the UNM Government at the time of the death of Shavadze on his death having occurred following his attempt to flee lawful detention to have been inconsistent with evidence.

The Office said the new investigation had been supervised by the Council of Europe's Committee of Ministers, and noted the inquiry had revealed Shavadze had been beaten and shot to death by employees of the Department of Constitutional Security on August 16, 2008, two days after his return from service in the five-day war that started on August 7.

It also said the investigation revealed the head of the Department’s offices in the Black Sea city of Batumi - where Shavadze lived - had received instructions for an “operational study” of details around the servicemember, based on supposed information on his cooperation with a “special service of a foreign state”.  

Following the instructions, Shavadze was first beaten in a public café in the Black Sea city of Batumi by a group of employees of the body, receiving life-threatening injuries and causing him to fall unconscious, the Office said.

He was then driven to a spot near the Kobuleti-Kakuti highway in the west of the country, where he was shot 40 times and killed.

The Office also said evidence uncovered during the investigation had shown the then-state authorities had “created a fake version” of events, including claims on the officer having been arrested with illegal drugs on him, having snatched a weapon from the arresting group before attempting an escape, and shooting the weapon in the direction of the Department’s employees before being shot and killed.

The agency noted “several defendants” had confessed to their involvement in the crime and provided “full cooperation” with the investigation, thereby “reaffirming the true circumstances surrounding Shavadze's murder”. 

The investigation into the criminal case is ongoing with the objective of identifying and bringing to justice “any other individuals” involved in the crime, the body added.