A 12-member jury delivered on November 17 a guilty verdict into a murder case in a court proceeding, which was the first jury trial ever held in Georgia.
The case heard in the Tbilisi City Court from November 9 involved the murder case of three people, all from the same family, committed back in 1994 in Tbilisi.
The law enforcement agencies announced about solving the 17-year-old case in September. Two of three arrested suspects pled guilty; one of them claimed innocence and eventually faced jury trial in which jurors found him guilty of “aggregated murder and assisting in burglary committed by a group”.
Jury system was introduced in Georgia starting from October, 2010, following adoption of a new criminal procedure code year earlier.
The jury system, which the authorities say is one of the key parts of judicial reform, at the first stage can apply only to aggravated murder cases and only in Tbilisi.
Starting from October 1, 2012 jury trial will become applicable to cases of murder, committed in the heat of passion, as well as to cases of rape.
Also starting from October 1, 2012 the system is planned to expand to Georgia’s second largest city of Kutaisi where cases of aggregated murder can be heard by jury trial.