TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia’s chief prosecutor and justice minister claim that the long time former interior minister Vano Merabishvili was implicated in the killing of Sandro Girgvliani, a controversial murder committed by the police in 2006.
Chief Prosecutor Archil Kbilashvili said Wednesday that an investigation has revealed that there is ‘a certain connection’ between Merabishvili and the controversial murder and that he will probably be called in for interrogation.
“The investigation of the Sandro Girgvliani case continues to the end,” he said, adding that he doesn’t know yet when Merabishivli will be questioned.
Justice Minister Tea Tsulukiani said that the Prosecutor’s Office might have a few questions to Merabishvili regarding the case.
“This is not a single case, this is a dossier consisting of many episodes, where there can be observed many law violations and irresponsible actions by state officials,” she said, adding that one of those might be Vano Merabishvili.
Sandro Girgvliani, 28, an employee at Bank of Georgia, was found dead in January, 2006, at a cemetery in Tbilisi, after a nightly quarrel at a restaurant where Merabishvili’s wife and several Interior Ministry officials were present.
The policemen who carried out the murder were put on trial and convicted, but shortly after pardoned by President Mikheil Saakashvili. This, and the fact that Interior Ministry officials were not held accountable, raised serious questions internationally about the reforms and the courts’ independence.
Merabishvili has not yet commented.