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Georgia requests US help in high-profile murder case involving Giorgi Rurua

By Natalia Kochiashvili
Thursday, June 4
The Georgian Chief Prosecutor’s Office has requested help from the US to investigate a high-profile murder case of the Toradze family that took place back in 1992, and allegedly involved the current co-founder of the opposition-minded TV channel Mtavari Arkhi, Giorgi Rurua.

As part of the ongoing investigation into the murder of Toradze's family members, the Prosecutor General's Office has applied to the relevant authorities of the United States for legal assistance and issued a statement on June 2.

Georgia says that it needs the US support to interrogate US citizen Tamar Toradze, the only survivor of the Toradze family. She accuses Rurua of killing 7 of her family members (5 killed, 2 still missing).

Toradze demanded the investigation into the Toradze murder case in May 2020, sending an open letter to US senator Jim Risch who called Rurua ‘a political prisoner.’

In the letter Toradze tells the senators that ‘Giorgi Rurua is not a media owner or a political prisoner, he is a cold blooded murderer,’ publishing the details of the case and reasons why Rurua has remained unpunished for years. She also posted a video on Facebook on May 17 addressing President, the Government and the Prosecutor's Office of Georgia demanding the investigation of the murder.

Rurua was detained in November 2019 during a protest rally in front of the Parliament. He is accused of illegally buying, storing and carrying firearms, a charge that he dismisses. He is the brother of deceased United National Movement official Nikoloz Rurua.

The united opposition, which made an agreement with the ruling Georgian Dream on March 8, 2019 on how to hold upcoming elections in autumn, demands the release of ‘political prisoner’ Rurua, stating that if he remains in prison, they will not vote for the constitutional changes.

Giorgi Rurua's trial continued on the 3rd of June at the Tbilisi City Court, where the prosecution witnesses were interrogated.

Dimitri Sadzaglishvili, Rurua’s lawyer, says his client is ready to answer questions from the prosecutor's office about the Toradzes' case. According to him, Giorgi Rurua has not been investigated in this case:

“No one has communicated with us on this issue. Obviously, if there are any questions and official adjustments are made by the investigative bodies, it is clear that we will definitely answer all the questions,” Sadzaglishvili told reporters. He noted that the accusation of Giorgi Rurua in the case of the Toradzes was part of a dirty campaign organized by the government against him.