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New details in death of Georgian PM

by | Oct 18, 2013
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From a demonstration two years ago. (DF Watch.)

TBILISI, DFWatch–There are new details in the investigation into the death of former Prime Minister Zurab Zhvania in 2005, which may change the official version of how he died.

Brother of the deceased PM, Giorgi Zhvania, says that important new evidence has come up in the course of the investigation, which was reopened by the new government. This new evidence has been made available to the Zhvania family.

“These new details will be a precondition for solving the case soon,” Zhvania said, continuing that the family doesn’t exclude that the body of the deceased PM may be exhumed.

Justice Minister Thea Tsulukiani said on Thursday that it is a priority for the government to investigate the death of Zhvania.

“The country must know why the prime minister, for whom people had hopes, died,” she said, adding that when she used to have authority as prosecutor back then, she knew that the official scenario that was reported was without a solid basis.

She also said she thinks the corpses of Zurab Zhvania and Raul Usupov, who was found dead with him, should be exhumed, after agreeing with the families. The bodies of Usupov and Zhvania were discovered on February 3, 2005, in a house on Saburtalo Street in Tbilisi. According to the official version, they were poisoned by the a gas leak from a malfunctioning heater.

President Mikheil Saakashvili, who was the leader of the Rose Revolution together with Zhvania, and Nino Burjanadze, said on Thursday that the name of Zurab Zhvania is sacred for him as he was his closest friend.

“The [U.S.] Federal Bureau [of Investigation] published its findings about his death, which answered all of my questions,” Saakashvili told journalists while visiting Kutaisi.

Chief Prosecutor Archil Kbilashvili also confirmed that there are new details in the investigation and they are currently working on this new lead.

“I can say that there is new evidence, new conditions and accordingly a new theory,” he told Interpressnews, continuing that the investigation continues.



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