Prosecutor Made a Concluding Statement on Sabi Beriani’s Case
17 03 2016

On March 16, 2016 the Prosecution delivered the concluding statement regarding the case of Sabi Beriani, transgender woman murdered in her home on November 11, 2014. The defense will provide their final statement during the hearing scheduled on April 20, at 14:00.

In the statement, Prosecution expressed their belief that the acquittal of defendant Levan Kochlashvili on August 7, 2015 is one of the most inadequate and unjust decisions in the history of justice system.

According to the evidence explored by the Prosecution the evening before the murder Levan Kochlashvili informed his lover Victoria Kurashvili that he, by all means, would return the money that he owed her. Not having enough financial resources to cover the debt, he decided to use the money available on Sabi Beriani’s bank account. Mr. Kochlashvili bought a knife in a shop on Bulachauri street and went to Sabi Beriani’s apartment. They began to argue and in the process Kochlashvili wounded Ms. Beriani nine times with the knife. Two of the wounds – one to the throat and one to the abdomen, where it is split in two - are particularly grave. According to the Levan Samkharauli National Forensics Bureau, the split was caused by the fact that Kochlashvili kept turning the knife around, when the blade was already inside the abdomen. The rest of the wounds are on the victim’s back. Levan Samkharauli National Forensics Bureau states that the placement of these wounds excludes the possibility of self-infliction. Ms. Beriani could not have held the knife, which is why the three wounds on Mr. Kochlashvili’s buttocks (none of them hazardous for his life) were inflicted under unknown circumstances.

This conclusion is also supported by the fact that the clothes that Mr. Kochlashvili was wearing while visiting Ms. Beriani, were not damaged, which is not possible if he suffered injuries while struggling with the victim.

According to the Prosecutor’s office, defense failed to present solid evidence. However, Tbilisi City Court avoided the testimony of the Levan Samkharauli National Forensics Bureau and took into considered only the testimony of an alternative expert provided by the defense. The alternative expert, showed clear bias, since his conclusion in favor of Mr. Kochlashvili overlooks the number and placement of injuries on Ms. Beriani’s body.

Based on the abovementioned evidence and circumstances, prosecution urges the court to change the ruling delivered on August 7, 2015, and sentence Mr. Kochlashvili according to Article 108 of the Criminal Code of Georgia – premeditated murder.