Wednesday, 20 Oct 2021

Brit musician, 28, found dead after being ‘attacked and thrown in river’

A British musician was found dead in a river after reportedly being attacked and thrown unconscious into the water by a gang of local drunks.

Thomas Kennedy, 28, was found dead by the banks of the Mtkvari River in Georgia, eastern Europe.

Five have been arrested for his murder, which allegedly came after a night of drinking with the local lads.

The suspected killers fled the scene but have since been remanded, local outlets reported.

Giorgi Balashvili, 28, Giorgi Okhanashvili, 17, Giorgi Kareli, 20, Zura Palavandishvili, 19, and Vasil Okropiridze, 24, are being held on suspicion of murder.

They deny any part in the killing of Thomas, who is said to have been studying for a music qualification in the former Soviet state.

The five suspects will be held for two months after a court order – and face 13 to 17 years in prison if they're found guilty.

Kennedy arrived in Georgia on August 30 to study, Mtavari TV reported and played the acoustic guitar.

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Video shows the suspects being arrested after they are thought to have "thrown" Thomas's body into the river.

It's not known whether he was murdered before the gang allegedly disposed of his body, but Thomas is said to have been unconscious at the time.

A verbal and physical dispute followed the night of drinking enjoyed by the group, local reports said.

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Georgia is not an unstable country and has one of Europe's lowest crime rates.

But there are some regions the Foreign Office does not advise Brits visit, such as provinces attempting to break away from the country.

Its travel advice states: "[Capital] Tbilisi is a cosmopolitan city, but more conservative attitudes exist in rural areas.

"When travelling outside of the cities be aware of cultural sensitivities around modest dress, particularly when visiting places of worship, and open displays of affection."

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