14:31, Tuesday, 18.06.2019
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Malkhaz Kobauri sentenced to life imprisonment for killing the Smiths family


Lado Bitchashvili, Shida Kartli

20-years-old Malkhaz Kobauri was sentenced to lifetime imprisonment for killing the Smiths family. The judge announced the judgment on March 27 based on the March 25 guilty verdict of the jury. The 12-member jury unanimously found Kobauri guilty in the rape, intentional ruthless murder of two or more persons; as for the charge about not-reporting about the crime, the juries acquitted him in it. 

The Gori District Court was examining the murder case of the Smiths Family. The defense lawyers of Malkhaz Kobauri plan to appeal the court judgment in the Appellate Court. 

“The verdict of the jury was not well-grounded and it relayed only on the assumptions. The prosecutor’s office obtained 12 volumes of evidence and they never examined any piece of it. We believe it was unfair decision. When we are speaking about the unfair verdict, the judgment was relatively unfair as well. We plan to appeal the verdict in relevance to the Article 266 of the Criminal Code of Georgia, as there were many violations in the procedures,” the lawyer Aleksandre Kobaidze said. 

Prosecutor said it was the only fair decision considering the circumstances and evidence in the case. 

“It was grave crime. Three members of one family were assassinated, including underage child. The motive of the crime is absolutely intolerable and unprecedented. Besides that, I would like to underline that the defendant tried to mislead the court and jury till the last moment instead admitting and regretting the committed crime. His only purpose was to escape the responsibility and punishment. Considering that the lifetime imprisonment was the only adequate punishment and of course the court shared our position. The court examined the case files and verified that the lifetime imprisonment was the only fair punishment for the committed crime,” prosecutor Zaza Datukishvili said.  

The bodies of Rayan and Lora Smiths and their four-year old son were discovered in the Khada Gorge in July 2018. Soon, police arrested 19-years-old Malkhaz Kobauri. Initially, Kobauri admitted the committed crime but later he changed the testimony and denied the accusation. Based on the collected evidence against Kobauri he was sentenced to lifetime imprisonment. 

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