Another Victim of Inattentiveness

By Ani Meskhidze

Few days before her murder,  Miranda Vacheishvili took her children to winter resourt-BakurianiMiranda (Tatia) Vacheishvili, a 39-year-old mother of four, was strangled with a lead wire by her ex-husband on April 25, 2017.

After a one-day search, woman was found dead in a house belonging to her father-in-law. According to the court file, 42-year-old Giorgi Janashvili killed her because of jealousy. The police arrested him in the entrance to a building in the fourth micro district of Gldani. In August, the Tbilisi City Court sentenced Giorgi Janishvili to 11 years in prison for murder.

According to court documents: "At the open court session, the defendant was fully found guilty in the charge sheet. In addition, the defense side has undoubtedly seen the factual circumstances established by the evidence provided by the prosecution. The Court, in its assessment of the materials presented in the case and the position of the parties, finds the accused fully guilty of the charge.

Vacheishvili's first husband David Khosroshvili left and became a monk few years ago, so she was raising her children alone. He recently died in Martkopi's Deity Monastery when he accidentally fell from a third-floor staircase and his head hit stone.

Nino, Natali and Irakli Khosroshvili are children from her first marriage. She and Janashvili got acquainted on the Internet in 2013 and she quickly connected with him. They had one child, a one-year-old girl Tamar Janashvili.  They separated about two months before the murder.

Miranda Vacheishvili with her  second husband, murderer Giorgi Janashvili

Her family members say the conflicts began quickly and she was living in total fear. Her friend Keti Papunashvili says there were several domestic violence incidents before the murder. She says police were informed about domestic violence, but did not respond properly. She claims one time he brought gasoline and tried to burn the house down with his wife and baby inside. According to Papunashvili, the police started to investigate but the charges were light.

"The murderer was ready to kill his own six-month-old child and wife when he set the house on fire. It was an accident they survived," Papunashvili said. "The case was initiated as damaging property.

"The state didn’t protect her. Otherwise this woman would be alive today, and we would not have four orphans.’’

The victim's oldest child, 19-year-old Nino, learned about the murder from her grandfather, who got the information from the police department. The investigator called him to identify the body. She reminds the details of that day.

"My mother went outside to meet her friends. We were trying to call her, but after approximately two hours her phone was turned off.

"It had been forty days since my father passed away, so we planned to go to Martkopi (for a memorial ceremony). The next day I went to her home but still couldn’t find her, so we went to the monastery without her. A few hours later, my grandfather called and told us about this tragedy.

"It appeared two days before Giorgi came to see our mother and his baby. We didn’t knew about it. My mother showed him the baby. That was the only reason they were meeting each other. She no longer had any other relationship with him. That man was manipulating her using the child.

Miranda (Tatia) VacheishvliShe says her mother was living in constant fear because Janashvili repeatedly beat her, and that she appealed to police several times, but in vain. One time Nino herself was a victim of violence by Janashvili. 

‘’I was beaten," she said.  "At this time mother was nine months pregnant. They had some argument and Giorgi was beating her in the street. My sister saw  it from our balcony and ran down the stairs. Giorgi hit me so hard I literally couldn’t breathe. My mother was asking for help, but… If police showed more attention, the murderer would have been in a prison a long time ago.’’

The police claim they always properly responded to the complaints and issued restraining orders. But her daughter says it  did not guarantee their safety.

"Despite the fact that a protective order was issued more than five times, it couldn’t save us," she said. "He was waiting for the expiration of the order and coming back again. We were calling  the police, they were taking him away, but soon he was returning.

According to the court case, Janashvili has been convicted of several crimes. He was arrested and deported from France in 2013. The victim's daughter said some of the convictions were illegal narcotics.

"Even here, his drugs use and thieving has not diminished,’’ she says.

 Her mother lost her job during her fourth pregnancy and the only family income was her 80-year-old father's pension.  She was actively involved in social network groups with other mothers. Many of those mothers helped her several times. She was selling clothes in a few of the groups.

 Screenshot of Miranda Vacheishvili’s  facebook post.  In her post she criticises  her  husband  in the facebok group of mothers.  In the group she was sharing the poor conditions she lived in. A few days before the murder she posted in the group expressing how grateful she was for their help, and if not for the other mothers in a group she didn’t know what she would do, because the father of her youngest child was doing nothing at all.

For now on, it is very important to take care about Miranda’s children conditions as well as safety. As Keti Papunashvili says, it is necessary to help them to resume life, need of professionals who will favor the. 

‘’…Children are in heavy psychological condition and they need a psychologist, children's lives should not be in danger due to the fact that after the penalty, accused one may harm them…’’

The Social Agency of the Ministry of Labor Health and Social Affairs is involved in the case, but so far the children have not had any psychological consultations.

"We were told that we do not need a psychologist now," her daughter said." They recognized that the incident is grave,  but since it didn't happen in front of the children, they think we do not need this kind of help.’’

She is the guardian and legal representative for her brother and sisters. She is neither studying or working, because she takes care of the youngest sister. The other children are living with their 86-year-old grandfather. They are getting a small pension that she says is not enough.

 According to the Public Defender's Office, 22  women were killed in the first nine months of 2017. They report 21 femicide cases in 2016, 18 in 2015, and 35 in 2014.

In the past month alone, police have detained 14 people for domestic violence.