Five teens convicted for death of schoolboy

A Thessaloniki court yesterday convicted five adolescents of killing 11-year-old Georgian schoolboy Alex Meshivili in the northern town of Veria nearly three years ago but shed no light on what has become of the boy’s remains. According to the youth court, the boys, who had all been aged between 11 and 12 at the time of the killing, were guilty of inflicting non-premeditated grievous bodily harm. Two Greek brothers are to be transferred to a juvenile delinquent facility in the central town of Volos until they reach the age of 18. The other three children – an Albanian, a Romanian and an ethnic Greek from Albania – are to be placed in the custody of state child-protection services until they turn 18. The ethnic Greek from Albania is the only one of the defendants to have admitted to having any role in the sequence of events that led to Meshivili’s death. According to court testimonies, the children harassed and beat the 11-year-old without intending to kill him. Meshivili died after falling down some stairs and his body was then transferred to a construction site, the court concluded. What became of the boy’s body after that is still not clear. Yesterday’s verdict followed four months of hearings during which some 100 witnesses were questioned. «This decision finally eradicates the gangrene that has been eating at the heart of (Meshivili’s) mother,» the president of Thessaloniki’s youth court said on announcing the verdict. Natela Meshivili was not in court yesterday and her lawyer refused to comment on the verdict.

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