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Lawyer of Suspect of the Smith Family Murder Partially Confirms Media Reports

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Thursday, August 9
Lekso Kobaidze, who protects the interests of the 19-year-old shepherd Malkhaz Kobauri, accused of the murder of the American Smith Family in mountainous Georgia in early July, has partially confirmed the media reports by saying that Kobauri’s biological materials were found on the Lora Smith’s body.

“However, the expertise has not revealed that Lora Smith was raped before death,” the lawyer says, who continues to claim that Kobauri did not commit the murder.

The lawyer also said that he has a “grounded suspicious” that the expertise outcomes might be incorrect.

“There are many question marks in the case,” Kobaidze said, who replaces David Girgvliani, previous lawyer of Kobauri who abandoned the suspect when the country’s two leading media outlets-Rustavi 2 and Imedi TV reported based on the “reliable source” that Kobauri’s genetic profile was found in the Lora Smith’s body, meaning that Kobauri raped the woman before death.

The official statement has not yet been made over the issue as the investigation is ongoing. Kobauri has already been checked for mental health, and the results of the expertise also remain unknown.

Mtskheta court in eastern Georgia sent Kobauri to pre-trial detention on July 11 for the brutal murder of the Smith Family, Ryan, Lora Smith and their 4-year-old son Caleb on July 4.

Kobauri does not admit to the crime and speaks about " several foreigners” who killed the family and threatened him to conceal the truth. Initially, Kobauri only mentioned two foreigners.

The case prosecutor says that a verbal dispute between Kobauri and Ryan Smith emerged because of the rifle the shepherd had with him.

“Ryan Smith made a remark to Kobauri, who was drunk, and said that he was not cautious with the weapon, especially in the presence of the child,” prosecutor David Kazarashvili told the court. Kazarashvili said that during the dispute Kobauri shot Ryan Smith, while Lora Smith tried to escape and fell from a cliff.

The prosecutor did not mention rape during the trial, but the Interior Ministry confirmed in its previous statements that the alleged rape of Lora Smith was also being investigated.

Kobauri himself showed the site to the police where the child’s body was buried.

Kobauri is facing life imprisonment if found guilty.