Saakashvili is accused of abusing power, as, according to the investigation, the then-president of Georgia unlawfully promised Data Akhalaia, then-Chief of the Department of Constitutional Security, to pardon those convicted for the murder. This way, Gia Alania, Avtandil Aptsiauri, Aleksandre Gachava and Mikheil Bibiluri were pardoned. This caused public indignation, as a result of which, Interior Minister Vano Merabishvili was fired.
The murder of Sandro Girgvliani happened in 2006, and although it were a few employees of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia who had been accused, the human right defenders and relatives of the victim believed it were the high-profile officials of the Ministry who commissioned the murder.
In particular, Sandro Girgvliani had a conflict with Guram Donadze, Head of the interior ministry’s press centre. According to the four Interior Ministry employees acquitted by Saakashvili, they kidnapped Girgvliani and brought him to a forest, where he managed to get away from them, got lost, and fell into a 20-m gorge.