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UNM candidate in Samegrelo faces protest

By Tatia Megeneishvili
Friday, June 13
Family members of forestry ranger Davit Tsindeliani and the intelligence service officer Paata Kardava, who has been missing since 2008, held a rally on June 11 in Zugdidi region in front of the United National Movement office there. The protest rally was caused by the recently released results of an investigation by the Interior Ministry several days ago.

Family members of Kardava stated that the UNM candidate for the governor of Samegrelo, Tengiz Gunava, was either involved in the murder or had information concerning the crime. They met with Gunava during the rally.

According to the MIA, In August 2008, a high-ranking official of the MIA Constitutional Security Department received an order from the leadership to take Tsindeliani from Tchuberi village to Tbilisi for questioning. According to the information of the Constitutional Security Department under the UNM government, Tsindeliani was linked to Abkhaz separatists.

The MIA’s position is that Tsindeliani was taken to Batumi instead of Tbilisi and was handed to Roman Shamatava, who served as the head of the Abkhazia Division of Constitutional Security Department. The investigation states that Shamatava accused Tsindeliani of cooperating with separatists, but the latter denied the accusations.

”Then, Tsindeliani was taken 4 km away from the shore, where he was shot in the head with a single bullet by Shamatava, who fastened the anchor to the victim’s head and threw the body into the water,” the MIA states.

According to the MIA, the same person killed Kardava as well. The reason and motivation was the same, presumably for collaboration with separatists.

Military analyst Vakhtang Maisaia states that the individuals appeared to have had much information concerning the August War in 2008, and spreading the information was not in the interests of the UNM.

Gunava states that the Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili was the first who accused him of the crime. “It is pressure and pursuit on political bases… I have nothing to do with this crime. It is regrettable that the government uses tragedy and misleads the people gathered here. I call on the law-enforcement to investigate the case appropriately,” Gunava said. He is going to sue the PM for the accusation.

Kardava’s family members have not spoken about the details of the meeting with Gunava.

Minister of Interior Affairs Aleksandre Tchikaidze stated that the crime is “terrible” and carrying out violence on its citizens from any government’s side is unacceptable.