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MIA: We have arrested the killer of Shanae Brooke

By Nika Gamtsemlidze
Friday, September 10
The Ministry of Internal Affairs has detained a Georgian citizen living in Tbilisi, accused of murdering Australian citizen, Shanae Brooke. The information was announced by a representative of the agency at the special briefing.

According to the information of the MIA, the 33-year-old Georgian citizen was arrested on September 8. According to the statement of the MIA representative, biological samples were taken from several dozen citizens who were thought to be involved in the crime.

After a detailed interrogation of each of the individuals and complex investigative measures, as the MIA says, the circle of the above-mentioned persons was reduced to a minimum. “According to the conclusion of the genetic examination, the identity of the accused was unequivocally confirmed,” announced the MIA representative.

The Ministry did not talk about the details of the murder, but the Deputy Head of the Tbilisi Police Department, Kakha Muradashvili said that the body of the young woman was found with traces of violence. It was also reported that the investigation found the weapon of the crime.

Rafael Mursakulov, the man accused of the murder, was detained and taken to a temporary detention facility. The information about this was confirmed by his lawyer. After the announcement was made about the arrest, information spread on social media about other possible crimes committed by Mursakulov. One of the Facebook users wrote that a few months back, her friend was attacked by Mursakulov and one other person on Mtatsminda.

“Although the police knew who he was, nothing was done about it. Maybe, if they did something back then, this young woman could have been alive today,” wrote one of the Facebook users.

The person who spread this information talked with RFE/RL and said that she wrote the post with her friend’s consent. After contacting the MIA, RFE/RL says that no further information about the case was given because it contained “personal information”.

In addition, several people, including news outlets, talked about a possible connection between Georgian Dream and Mursakulov, however, the ruling party representatives said that Mursakulov might have been just an activist. A photo of him with some of the GD representatives was also spread on Facebook.

According to Tbilisi Mayor Kakha Kaladze, Rafael Mursakulov has taken photos with Melia and Rurua as well, but this topic should not be raised at all. According to him, no matter who the murderer is, he will be punished with the full force of the law.

Georgian Dream MP Irakli Zarkua spoke about the same issue. He says the party “has tens of thousands of members and hundreds of thousands of supporters” and GD can’t be held accountable for the thoughts and intentions of individual supporters.

Australian citizen Shanae Brooke disappeared on July 30. The information about this was spread on the social network by her friend, who said that when Shanae Brooke was talking on the phone, she was on Mtatsminda, taking a walk. During this time, she was attacked.

The body of a young woman was found on the slope of Mtatsminda on July 31. The investigation of the case was initiated under Article 108 of the Criminal Code. This article provides for imprisonment from seven to fifteen years.