TBILISI, DFWatch — Tbilisi City Court has ruled out that there will be criminal charges brought against the friends of Buta Robakidze, who was killed by police in 2004.

November 24, 2004 Giorgi Kurdadze, Kakhaber Azariashvili and Akaki Bartaia, all friends of the victim, were charged with purchasing and carrying weapons and ammunition.

Their lawyers told journalists after Monday’s hearing that both the defense and the prosecution asked the court to rule out criminal persecution.

They said that the defense has tried to achieve this for eight years, claiming that they didn’t carry or own any weapon.

The prosecutor agreed to not press charges on Monday. Defense lawyers say the friends of Robakidze may go to court to demand compensation for illegal material and moral damage.

Buta Robakidze died on November 24, 2004 during a police operation. It was said at the time that he resisted police together with his armed friends, and that the police was forced to open fire, but there were suspicions that the police lied about what happened and that he in fact was deliberately killed.

His father later tried to reopen the case, but it is only now, eight years later, after Saakashvili has lost government power, that the case has been reopened.

Georgia’s chief prosecutor Archil Kbilashvili recently said the new investigation of the case revealed that the weapons found near Robakidze and his friends were planted by police after the shooting.