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New version of president Gamsakhurdia’s death

By Messenger Staff
Thursday, February 24
The interim commission which was created to study the details of the death of first president Zviad Gamsakhurdia has submitted to the Georgian parliament a document on 363 pages after a 15 month investigation. According to the conclusion of the committee, the notion that Gamsakhurdia committed suicide should be ruled out. The interim committee gives its own cause of the death of the president, completely contradicting the version which was suggested, promoted and adopted by the prosecutor’s office in 1994-2004, where it was simply assumed that president Gamsakhurdia committed suicide. Head of the interim commission, Konstantine Gamsakhurdia, son of late President Zviad Gamsakhurdia expressed his curiosity and dissatisfaction as to why the investigation accepted only one possible cause of death– suicide. The investigation was obliged to study all possible versions including murder, thinks Gamsakhurdia. The interim parliamentary commission submitted the appropriate documents to the law enforcement bodies to continue their investigation in the directions highlighted by the commission. If there is support from the parliament, the prosecutor’s office and the appropriate bodies should carry out additional investigation activities.

Such a conclusion of the commission was not a surprise to many in the Georgian population. There were many unanswered questions in the death of the president. So, the official version is denounced and it is the turn of the parliament and other appropriate bodies to further investigate the case and to interrogate people who could clarify further the situation. Firstly, it could be former president of Georgia Eduard Shevardnadze who was the head of the state when Gamsakhurdia died. Much would depend on the interrogation of Besarion Gugushvili PM of Gamsakhurdia’s regime and his ally who was with him at the time when president Gamsakhurdia died. After this event, Gugushvili fled to Finland where he received the status of refugee and still resides in this country.

The conclusion of the commission could have different resonance. Some suggest that president Gamsakhurdia’s friends want to erase the version of him committing suicide as they want to declare Gamsakhurdia a martyr. As it is known, in Christianity, a person who has committed suicide violates the norms of the Christian religion and therefore cannot be declared a saint.

The conclusion can have a political meaning as well as it would be directed against former president Shevardnadze and his officials. Former minister of state security, soviet KGB general Igor Giorgadze who was wanted by the Shevardnadze administration for an alleged assassination attempt of Shevardnadze, in his answers to the interim commission demanded that Shevardnadze be taken to court and questioned. It is not necessary for him to be sentenced to the death penalty but the court hearing should be carried out, states the KGB general.

So, Gamsakhurdia’s death and, more importantly, its cause, carries great significance. Firstly, to finally find the truth, then there is the political meaning even though in the current Georgian administration there are different people. Some were his supporters, some were his opposition, some were among those forces who fought against Gamsakhurdia with arms. So the intrigue is there.

Of course, the interrogation of President Shevardnadze, if it takes place at all, could reveal some scandalous facts. Besides, it should be remembered that many members of the current leadership, including President Saakashvili were promoted and held some high ranking positions during the Shevardnadze regime. Saakashvili was leader of the ruling majority in the parliament, head of the judiciary committee in the parliament and minister of justice for some time during Shevardnadze’s administration.