A British vacationer has been killed in Georgia by a ‘group of males who beat him unconscious and threw him right into a river following an argument’, authorities say.
The physique of musician Thomas Kennedy, 28, washed up within the Mtkvari river close to the village of Kvakhvreli in Gori on Friday, three days after he was allegedly killed by a bunch of 5 Georgian residents.
Giorgi Balashvili, 28, alongside along with his buddies Giorgi Okhanashvili, 17, Giorgi Kareli, 20, and Zura Palavandishvili, 19, have been taken into custody on suspicion of homicide together with Vasil Okropiridze, 24, who denied any half within the plot.
Kennedy is believed to have been invited to drink by the boys after hanging up a dialog with road busker Okropiridze in Gori metropolis, however was later severely overwhelmed by the group after they received right into a drunken disagreement.
A police probe suggests Kennedy was alive however unconscious when he was thrown into the river after the defendants panicked, believing that they had killed him when he handed out.
A Georgian court docket heard Kennedy was thrown into the water in Gori metropolis, however his physique travelled two miles down-river earlier than being found three days later.
British musician Thomas Kennedy, 28, (pictured) was killed in Georgia following a dispute with a bunch of native males who attacked him and threw into the Mtkvari River, authorities mentioned
Proficient musician Kennedy, 28, was ‘focused’ by the group in line with police.
After a day journey to the Joseph Stalin Museum, Kennedy started talking with Okropiridze when 4 native ‘shady’ Georgians invited him for beers, a prosecutor informed a Georgian court docket yesterday.
Kennedy’s cellphone, pockets and bank card have been lacking when he was discovered, prompting police to launch a homicide investigation once they found his cellphone had been bought in a neighborhood pawn store.
Okropiridze denied not notifying police of the plot, which he says he had no half in.
The opposite defendants admitted theft however denied homicide, as an alternative claiming that Kennedy was working away from the combat when he fell into the river by himself and drowned.
However prosecutor Mikheil Beriashvili mentioned: ‘The prosecution is just not happy with the defence’s argument that the sufferer himself jumped or fell into river.
‘We imagine we’re coping with a premeditated homicide as a way to destroy the incriminating proof of one other crime – robbing.
‘This was additionally carried out in opposition to an individual who was helpless.’
All 5 defendants have been detained by a court docket for 2 months. They face from 13 to 17 years in jail if discovered responsible at their trial, which has been scheduled for November 8.
The musician (pictured enjoying the guitar) had arrived in Georgia on August 30, and was a scholar at a neighborhood music faculty. Thomas was attacked after which thrown ‘unconscious’ into the river and his physique was discovered close to the village of Kvakhvreli on October 8
A report on Mtavari TV channel mentioned Kennedy had arrived in Georgia on August 30, and reviews mentioned he was a scholar at a neighborhood music faculty.
Kennedy is alleged to have informed buddies he wished to ‘go someplace far-off’ after battling lockdown, and is believed to have met a Georgian woman on-line earlier than making the journey to the previous Soviet republic.
He was staying within the capital, Tbilisi, however had been visiting the museum to the communist dictator on the day he died.
On social media final month, Kennedy posted: ‘I figured I’d go someplace far-off. And Georgia appeared ultimate. Small place. Huge historical past.’
Tragically, he joked: ‘Nonetheless haven’t see Stalin’s home but both.’
5 Georgian residents, together with one minor, have been detained on suspicion of homicide and face between 13 to 17 years in jail if discovered responsible
Family members have paid tribute to ‘form’ Kennedy, who comes from a big Irish household and whose demise has left mother and father Eddie and Cathy devastated.
Aunt Patricia Pointon, from Derbyshire, wrote on Fb: ‘RIP my stunning nephew. You have been distinctive in each means. One of many kindest souls to ever stroll this earth, you trusted your coronary heart and performed your music as a genius! We’ll always remember you…Tom sleep tight.’
Her husband Darren Pointon, informed the Mail Tom had left the household house in Larhardane, County Mayo, Eire, after speaking to a Georgian woman on-line.
Pointon mentioned: ‘We’re a really shut knit household. So far as I do know, Tom had been chatting to a woman on-line and had gone out to fulfill her.
‘However after every week or so, it didn’t work out. I don’t know whether or not he had been staying along with her or simply travelling round.
‘Tom determined to remain on as a result of he had a couple of weeks left on his visa and he favored the place.
‘Tom was a stunning, clear dwelling lad. He had not had a drink for 3 years and the household are upset at reviews that he had been consuming.
‘We’re ready to seek out out what occurred however I’ve not seen him have a drink at household events for 3 years.
‘He was a stunning, gifted lad who lived for music. He performed the guitar, violin and piano and used to do a little bit of busking himself and wrote his personal songs. Perhaps that’s how he received speaking to those individuals.
‘The household over in Eire try to get on the market to allow them to convey Tom house.’
A spokesman for the International Workplace mentioned: ‘We’re involved with the native authorities following the demise of a British man in Georgia and are offering help to his household.’
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