Alex witnesses ‘hid evidence’

The mother of 11-year-old Georgian schoolboy Alex Meshivili, for whose killing five boys were convicted earlier this week, has claimed that witnesses withheld crucial evidence due to pressure from a «gang» allegedly protecting the suspects. Writing in a blog on the third anniversary of her son’s disappearance, Natela Ichuadze condemned certain media organizations for exploiting the investigation to make headlines and decried «a total absence of moral rules in society.» «Do you know how many witnesses did not appear in court and how many minced their words because they were scared,» Ichuadze said. «How can there be any progress when people know that their sons, grandsons or nephews might become a target if they say too much?» she added. Ichuadze said she had avoided making public statements to avoid being accused of trying to influence public opinion. «They accused us anyway,» she said.