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Olympic champion’s house riddled with bullets

by | Jan 3, 2013

Olympic judo champion Zurab Zviadauri says his house was hit by automatic rifle fire early New Year's Day. In the 2012 election, he campaigned for Georgian Dream and now represents the coalition in parliament. (Interpressnews.)

TBILISI, DFWatch — The house of an Olympic champion who represents the Georgian Dream coalition in parliament was riddled with automatic rifle fire the early morning on New Year’s Day.

The shooting happened at 1 am on Tuesday in Akhmeta, a town about 150 km northeast of Tbilisi.

Zurab Zviadauri, 2004 judo champion the of Athen Olympics, told DFWatch that his house was attacked by a person called Giorgi Kistauri, a criminal who has been hiding in Ukraine but returned to Georgia before the election on October 1, 2012. Kistauri was invited by the former deputy minister of internal affairs Ghia Lortkipanidze, and has been member of an infamous “zonder” group, Zviadauri asserts.

Saakashvili opponents at the time claimed that some of his supporters had joined together in informal groups of young men and their mission was to intimidate the opposition against the National Movement government before the election. Saakashvili’s opponents used to call them by the derogatory term “zonders”, after the Nazi Sondercommandos during World War 2.


Prior to the attack, there was a brawl between Kistauri and Zviadauri’s brother which ended in a scuffle, the MP says. He added that in total his house was hit by 13 bullets. No-one was injured.

Nino Giorgobiani, spokeswoman for the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA), told DFWatch that Kistauri was detained and investigators are working on the incident. She added that the MIA will soon issue an official statement on its website www.police.ge.



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