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The News in Brief

Tuesday, April 1
Family of Georgia’s first president demands answers in unsolved death

The family of Georgia’s first President Zviad Gamsakhurdia is demanding the launch of a new investigation into the controversial death of the late president, who would have celebrated his 75th birthday on March 31st.

The cause of his 1993 death remains unsolved and controversial, as a number of reasons have been attributed to his passing. On December 31, 1993, Gamsakhurdia died after recently returning from exile in a failed attempt to regain power.

The late president’s three sons urged the government, including the Prime Minister and President, to re-launch an investigation.

"We feel obliged to remind [everyone that] the death of the late president is one of the most unexplained criminal cases in the history of Georgia’s independence. It has been shelved on the Prosecutor’s Office for 20 years,” son Konstantine Gamsakhurdia said.

A Parliamentary Commission created in 2009 to study the circumstances of the late president’s death, revealed in 2011 that the late president did not committed suicide.

Gamsakhurdia was buried in Grozny, Chechnya, in Russia. In 2007, 13 years after his death, his remains were returned to Georgia and reinterred in the pantheon at Mtatsminda alongside many other prominent Georgian public figures.

Georgian Honorary Consulate opens in Portugal

Georgian dignitaries and special guests have officially opened a Georgian Honorary Consulate in Porto, Portugal.

The inauguration ceremony opening the Honorary Georgian Consulate in the city of Porto and Porto region was held this week.

In his speech following the inauguration, the Honorary Consul Luis Mariniu introduced the Consulate’s future plans and spoke about the opportunities of cooperation in the fields of economy, culture and education.

The event was attended by the Georgian Ambassador in Portugal Giorgi Gorgiladze, Mayor of Porto Louie Moreira, representatives of the business circles and cultural fields, as well as Georgian diaspora.

Georgian Ambassador Giorgi Gorgiladze evaluated the positive Georgian – Portuguese relationship and noted that opening an Honorary Consulate would contribute to the popularization of Georgia in Porto.

The Mayor of Porto said the region of Porto and Georgia managed to form a close relationship in a very short time and the Consulate would help deepen this cooperation in various fields.

The event was also attended by members of the Georgian Tourism Administration, who led a presentation about Georgia.

Tuvalu takes back its recognition of independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia

Tuvalu has taken back the recognition of independence of Abkhazia and so-called South Ossetia.

The above-mentioned became known during the visit of Tuvalu’s governmental delegation to Georgia. The delegation signed a protocol on establishing diplomatic and consular relations with the Georgian side. The protocol was signed from Tuvalu’s side by the Minister of Environmental Protection, Foreign Affairs, Labour and Trade, while the Georgian side was represented by Foreign Minister Maia Panjikidze.

As per the protocol, the sides agreed that the states will develop relations on the grounds of the principles of sovereign equality, friendly relations and cooperation, territorial integrity, non-violation of borders and non-interference in homeland affairs.

The protocol emphasizes the fact that Tuvalu recognizes the territorial integrity of Georgia within its international recognized borders, including its regions – Abkhazia’s autonomous republic and Tskhinvali region.

With the above-mentioned act Tuvalu took back its decision on recognition of independence made in 2011 and confirmed its support to Georgian sovereignty, territorial integrity and respect to the principles of international law.

Georgia welcomes establishment of diplomatic relations with Tuvalu and expresses hope that Tuvalu’s decision will become an example for several states that had recognized Georgia’s occupied regions through violation of fundamental principles of international law.

Giorgi Gvichiani questioned about Zurab Zhvania's death

Giorgi Gvichiani, serving life imprisonment, has been questioned regarding Zurab Zhvania's death. Gvichiani was “Tbilgaz” CEO during a certain period of time. As Gvichiani posted in Facebook, he told the investigator that gas could not have leaked because the building where Zhvania died didn’t have gas that night.

“The prosecutor’s office questioned me on Zhvania's case; they said that the gas was not supplied at that building that night. Of course I confirmed that at about 23:00, the gas was cut off and the leak was impossible. But on my case, there are two false witnesses’ testimonies and both of them addressed you that they gave false testimonies under pressure and asked for being questioned and when I asked why they were not questioning him, the answer was – silence,” Gvichiani writes.

Gvichiani was questioned on Zhvania's case on Friday, 28 March.