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Protesters block Tbilisi’s central avenue demanding interior, justice ministers to resign

June 11, 2018, 3:11 UTC+3 TBILISI

The rally was organized by Zaza Saralidze, whose son David was killed in a mass brawl in December 2017

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TBILISI, June 10. /TASS/. A group of Georgian protesters, demanding justice for two slain teenagers, on Sunday installed three tents to block traffic at Tbilisi’s central street, the Rustaveli Avenue.

The rally was organized by Zaza Saralidze, whose son David, along with friend Levan Dadunashvili, was killed in a mass brawl in December 2017. On May 31, the Tbilisi city court dismissed the prosecutor’s evidence as unfounded, allowing two suspects in the high-profile case to walk free. David’s father said that the double murder had not been investigated properly, while the prosecutors were "covering up those responsible for the murder of his son." He initiated the rally demanding Prosecutor General Irakly Shotadze’s resignation, causing the latter to step down.

Saralidze said in a speech on Sunday evening that he demanded that "those who killed [his] son be established and brought to justice," together with "police officers and prosecutors who gave their protection to the murderers."

After the public call, a group of protesters removed three tents from the sidewalk and installed them on the road, Currently, Saralidze, along with several dozens of supporters, remain in those tents.

The move came hours after Saralidze called for resignation of Interior Minister Georgy Gakharia and Justice Minister Tea Tsulukiani.

"Gakharia assumed control over this investigation, but failed to achieve any practical result. I demand his resignation and will stay here until all my demands are met," Saralidze said. "Tsulukiani must resign as well, a new prosecutor should be nominated by the public, by non-governmental organizations whom we trust."

Georgia’s legal consultants, academic circles and community leaders are currently debating on the candidacy of the country’s new chief prosecutor.

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