Premeditated Murder Qualification Added to Footballer Shakarashvili's Death Case

The Prosecutor's Office of Georgia has named asphyxiation by drowning in water as the cause of death of Giorgi Shakarashvili, a 19-year-old footballer whose body was found in the Aragvi River in the vicinity of Mtskheta on June 22 following a 4-day search. 

"Given the high public interest, we would like to inform the public about the death of Giorgi Shakarashvili, the results of the forensic examination conducted by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and, consequently, the legal decision made.

"Based on the examination, the cause of death of Giorgi Shakarashvili is asphyxiation by drowning," the investigative agency said in a statement. 

At the same time, the statement reads, the body had injuries inflicted by the use of a blunt item shortly before his death.

The General Prosecutor's Office of Georgia has decided to clarify the qualification of Giorgi Shakarashvili's case: premeditated murder in aggravating circumstances committed by a group - a crime under Article 109, Part 2, Subparagraph "e" of the Criminal Code of Georgia - was added to the already existed qualification of the criminal case, and the investigation into the death of Shakarashvili will be carried out in accordance with the mentioned qualification. 

"The case is being investigated by the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Based on the conclusion of the examination, a number of investigative and procedural actions should be carried out as quickly and efficiently as possible, including the relevant expert examination to determine the mechanisms of the origin of the injuries mentioned in the report and other important circumstances. Witnesses are being questioned and obtained information is being analyzed," reads the statement. 

On June 26, 17 youngsters were detained on suspicion of being involved in the death of the young footballer. They remain in custody.

It has been established that the detainees committed illegal deprivation of liberty and group violence against two or more persons. Some of them are charged with failure to report a crime. 

"Once the immediate cause of death has been determined, the qualification of the case may be changed and the charges aggravated," the MIA stated upon detention of 17 individuals. 

By Ana Dumbadze 

Related Story: MIA Releases Official Statement on Detention of 17 Youngsters

10 July 2020 13:17