NEWS

Court indicts 14 in Alex trial

A Thessaloniki court yesterday indicted all 14 suspects implicated in the disappearance – and suspected murder – of 11-year-old schoolboy Alex Meshivili from Veria, northern Greece, in February 2006. The suspects – five schoolchildren aged 12 to 13, seven parents, a grandparent and one of the children’s brothers – are to be tried in three different courts. The five children – three Greeks, a Romanian and an Albanian – face charges of murder and desecrating the dead. The children’s parents are charged with negligent supervision of a minor. The grandparent and the elder brother of two of the Greek child suspects are charged with harboring a criminal and perjury. According to a prosecutor who has been investigating the case for four months, the children appear to have hidden Meshivili’s body for two days after his death before transferring it, using a wheelbarrow, from a derelict building in Veria to the banks of a local river where they are believed to have dumped the body. There has been no sign of the Georgian-born 11-year-old since his disappearance on February 3, 2006. Some of the young suspects have suggested, in their depositions, that they pushed Meshivili and that he fell over and struck his head. Adults are suspected of helping to dispose of the body. All defendants were summoned by an appeals court council in Thessaloniki last month to give additional explanatory statements. Meshivili’s mother, Natela Ichuadze, who was also summoned, made a new statement, attributing the defendants’ actions to «the hatred and envy which dominated their immature souls.» Meshivili’s mother, and psychologists, have suggested that the children had envied the 11-year-old, who had been a talented musician and athlete.