EURASIA LIFT

Human Rights Issues in Eurasia / Правовые Вопросы В Регионах Евразии

ECHR Ordered Georgia To Pay 50 000 Euro To Parents Of Kidnapped and Killed

Posted by Info on 29/04/2011

The Strasbourg court ordered the Georgian government to pay € 50,000 ($74,000) to the parents of the victim. Sandro Girgvliani, 28, was kidnapped and beaten to death by interior ministry officers in January 2006, after he became involved in an argument with a group of high-ranking ministry officials in a Tbilisi café.

The court found that the investigation into the death of Sandro Girgvliani lacked “independence, impartiality, objectivity and thoroughness”.

The court criticized the Georgian government for showing unreasonable lenience toward the four perpetrators. It expressed particular concern over attempts by the Ministry of the Interior, the Prosecutor’s Office, the domestic courts and the President of Georgia to prevent justice from being done in the Girgvliani case.

In July 2006, the Tbilisi City Court found four interior ministry officials guilty of killing Girgvliani. The men were sentenced to between seven and eight years in prison. All four were pardoned and released after serving just over three years of their sentences.
After details of Sandro Girgvliani’s murder were exposed by a Georgian TV station, the case became a major political issue, with many both in Georgia and abroad calling for a full and transparent investigation. The conduct of the investigation and trial, however, led many to suspect a far-reaching cover-up designed to protect high ranking interior ministry officials. The suspicions contributed to the 2007 opposition protests in Tbilisi, resulting in a police crackdown that left hundreds injured.

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