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9-year-old murdered girl in Gori and case of I.N accused for her murder

30.10.2018

Photo: 9-years-old Nana Beriashvili
Lado Bitchashvili, Shida Kartli

On October 25, in Gori, 9-year-old girl left home for the dance lesson at 14:30 pm; the lesson was starting at 15:00 pm. However, she did not reach the school and disappeared on the way. In the second half of the day, the family of 9-years-old Nana Beriashvili applied to police for help and started intensive search. After hours-long useless search, at night, the body of the girl was found several meters away from her house on the embankment of the Liakhvi River. 

The witnesses say she had legs bounded with wire and a polyethylene bag over her head. There is doubt that the child was suffocated with the bag. 
The grandfather of the deceased child told Humanrights.ge that they had searched that territory previously and could not find the body. The family doubted that the body was brought and left on the embankment. 

In parallel to the ongoing investigative procedures the local population gathered near the site of tragedy; they demanded timely investigation and punishment of the perpetrator. They said the girl was murdered. 

Expert criminalists were working on the site during several hours. The deputy minister of interior Kakha Sabanadze arrived on the place who told journalists that the investigation will do its best to timely resolve the crime. 

On October 26, at 10:30 am the deputy minister made a special announcement in Gori. Kakha Sabanadze said the police solved the case swiftly and a man, born in 1984, was arrested for the murder of the 9-years-old girl.

“As a result of operative activities, all houses were searched alongside the road which the girl walked every day. Officers detected suspicious blood stain in one of the houses. Expertise was conducted. Based on the abovementioned evidence, as well as of other evidence in the case files, police arrested I.N based on the Article 109 Part 2 –“b” of the Criminal Code of Georgia,” Kakha Sabanadze said. 
The charge was imposed under the article which applies to the intentional murder “of a minor or a helpless person knowingly by the offender” that is punishable by the imprisonment from 13 to 17 years in length. 

Reportedly, the suspect was working on the renovation in the neighboring house and the blood stain was discovered in that house.
 
The family of the killed girl does not know the suspect. They said the girl was ruthlessly beaten and had wounds on the head. However, the expertise has not yet issued the conclusion. Alleged sexual harassment of the girl is not proved yet either. 

According to the investigation, the suspected man was convicted in the past. As the lawyer Mamuka Nozadze recalled, in 2004, I.N was charged in the abduction of a child. 

“11-years-old Zakro Berdznishvili was kidnapped in 2004 and he is still missing. I.N’s father was constructing a garage in the family of the boy. I.N demanded the money from the family in exchange of the child. The court convicted I.N for the money extortion but acquitted him in illegal restriction of the juvenile’s freedom,” Nozadze wrote.
In 2004, representative of the Public Defender in Shida Kartli region visited I.N in the preliminary detention setting, where he was beaten; the detainee claimed the Gori police officers ruthlessly beat him to obtain confession statement from him and threatened with physical assault if he would disclose the information about intimidation. This fact was mentioned in that time report of the Public Defender of Georgia. 

I.N left prison 9 months ago; last time, he was convicted for grabbing a mobile phone from a citizen. 

The mother of the suspect said her son has not killed the girl and does not admit it. According to the mother, police arrested I.N at home. She said her son returned home from work at about 19:00 and police arrested him at 24:00 am. The mother confirmed that her son was convicted in the past.

According to media reports, I.N had the photos of the girl in his phone. However, his mother claims her son really had photos of a strange girl in his phone but it was not the killed girl.

“He brought a storage stick from prison. He had photos of a child on it; but he said somebody else recorded those photos on his stick. It is a fabricated charge,” the mother of the suspect said.

The relatives of the killed girl state the body was brought to the Liakhvi river embankment by wheelbarrow. Expertise has not issued the conclusion so far. 

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