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Killed Teenager’s Father Temporarily Stops Hunger Strike

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Thursday, July 5
Zaza Saralidze, father of the killed teenager David Saralidze, has temporarily suspended his hunger strike in the Interior Ministry yard.

He stated after his meeting with the Interior Ministry officials late on Tuesday that he is waiting for “radical decisions” in the high-profile case till the end of the week.

“We have agreed that radical steps will be taken in the week,” Saralidze told the media and refrained from revealing other details of the meeting with Deputy Interior Minister Natia Mezvrishvili.

Saralidze, who is demanding a fair investigation into his son’s murder case, went on hunger strike on Monday.

He stated that he did not want the murder case to gain any political connotation or affiliation with political parties and that he continued the fight for revealing the truth alone.

On Tuesday it was announced that Interior Minister Giorgi Gakharia offered Saralidze to meet, which Saralidze accepted.

However, Saralidze later said that he met with the deputy interior minister.

Two 16-year-old boys were stabbed to death in a school brawl in Tbilisi on December 1, 2017.

The Prosecutor’s Office charged two teenagers with ‘premeditated murder of an underage person’, and three others for not reporting the crime.

Davit Saralidze died in hospital with multiple wounds in his back, while Levan Dadunashvili died immediately.

One of the charged teenagers was detained on December 2, while the other one, who had gone into hiding, surrendered on December 4.

On December 3, the Prosecutor’s Office admitted that the father of one of the students involved in the fight was employed by the Prosecutor’s Office.

They said the man, Mirza Subeliani, had worked in the Department of Human Resources since 2014.

Subeliani resigned on the next day. Saralidze says Subeliani hinders the investigation process.

The Tbilisi City Court sentenced two teenagers for the case at the end of May, one for the murder of Dadunashvili and another for attempted murder of Saralidze. The court could not say who killed Saralidze.

Zaza Saralidze says the verdict proved offenders, who have the protection of the law enforcement bodies, still walk free.

Saralidze held a rally shortly after the court verdict was announced which led to the resignation of chief prosecutor on May 31.

A fact-finding parliamentary commission was also established to investigate the case. However, the commission is composed more minority than majority members and the ruling party members refuse to meet some of the recommendations elaborated by the minority.