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Court Hearing on High-Profile Murder Case Launched
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 27 Jun.'06 / 13:07

Tbilisi City Court launched on June 27 hearings on Sandro Girgvliani murder case as four officers from the Interior Ministry’s Department of Constitutional Security (DCS) are facing charges of committing this crime in January, 2006.

Gia Alania, ex-chief of the first unit of the DCS and three other officers from the same department, Avtandil Aptsiauri, Aleksandre Gachava and Mikheil Bibiluri were arrested on suspicion of committing 28-year-old Sandro Girgvliani’s murder in March.

Investigators from both the Interior Ministry and General Prosecutor’s Office claim that the murder was a result of a spontaneous quarrel between the victim and suspects which occurred on January 27.

But relatives of Sandro Girgvliani, as well as some human rights activists suspect that Data Akhalaia, ex-chief of the Department of Constitutional Security, Vasil Sanodze, ex-chief of the general inspection of the Interior Ministry (both of them were suspended from the office), as well as Guram Donadze, former Interior Ministry spokesman and Interior Minister’s wife Tako Salakaia, or at least one of them, could have ordered the crime, as Sandro Girgvliani had a verbal quarrel with this group of people in a café in downtown Tbilisi shortly before he was killed.

The Interior Ministry and Minister Vano Merabishvili have become gripped by this murder scandal, as some human rights groups and opposition parties started to accuse the Minister of covering up those who have ordered the crime.

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