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Georgian PM horrified by Zhvania autopsy photos

by | Mar 21, 2014
irakli_gharibashvili

Irakli Gharibashvili. (Interpressnews.)

TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia’s Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili says it was horrible to see recently published photographs from 2005 of PM Zurab Zhvania’s dead body.

Gharibashvili said he thinks the case doesn’t need ‘additional speculation.’ He also said that these new photos raise new questions about the case.

After the PM’s comments, the Prosecutor’s Office issued a statement saying that they are vigorously investigating Zhvania’s death.

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Zurab Zhvania. (Interpressnews.)

The material which was recently posted on Youtube was discovered in the office of Murtaz Zodelava, former Chief Prosecutor, the statement said.

The video, which contains photos of the dead bodies of Zhvania and his friend, was posted on Youtube on Wednesday.

Gharibashvili said before the beginning of the government session that for years, many people believed that Zhvania died under unclear circumstances and now the speculations continue. He said the investigation is still in progress.

Even though it is not known whether these photos are authentic or not, Gharibashvili said he thinks that posting them on the Internet will accelerate many things.

“And soon we will know what we have been dealing with,” he said, adding that as an ordinary citizen he can say that it is obvious that there are many suspicious circumstances.

“For example the fact that Zhvania had head injuries. I was informed that these are injuries received when he was alive, bruises.”

The PM said the Prosecutor’s Office has an action plan and hopes that the investigation will soon be finished.

“I know that they have negotiations with international expert bureaus in order to conduct an autopsy of the bodies by agreement of the family.’

People also question how authentic the new photos are and how they ended up on the Internet, considering that the brother of Zurab Zhvania said these photos are in the case file and he has seen them.

Secretary of the National Security Council Irina Imerlishvili said she thinks the investigators must work on this issue too and find the identity of the person who posted the video and the authenticity of the material.

Opposition members and ex-President Mikheil Saakashvili, who is now in Brussels, say that the new government is speculating about this issue and they demand that the investigation is finished soon.

The Prosecutor’s Office claims that the reason why the photos were posted on the Internet is to interrupt their work, because publishing these photos may harm the investigation and make it difficult to find evidence in the case.

Murtaz Zodelava, former Chief Prosecutor, was questioned on Thursday. After being questioned he said that it is absurd that the investigation which they conducted had evidence which cast doubt over the official version.

He said these photos were kept in a safe because they contained particularly sensitive information.

Furthermore, he said he is responsible for his former post and he doesn’t think it would be correct to speak about confidential information.

Zodelava continued saying that a year and a half ago his office with safe and all the material was moved to the new chief prosecutor.

US Ambassador to Georgia Richard Norland said that if the Georgian government asks, the US is ready to assist Georgia in the case.

The last time the US assisted, the Federal Bureau of Investigation wrote a report which was translated into Georgian and used by the Saakashvili regime to claim that it supported the carbon monoxide theory, although the dead PM’s brother Goga Zhvania claimed the English version of the report did not support such a clear conclusion.



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