Charges have been brought against former Chief Prosecutor of Georgia Mamuka Gvaramia and former Deputy Head of the L. Samkharauli National Forensics Bureau, Rostom Lazaria in connection with the case of late Prime Minister Zurab Zhvania and Kvemo Kartli Deputy Governor Raul Usupov.
Charged in the case of Zurab Zhvania Released on Bail
By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Friday, February 6
The original investigation which took place in 2005 concluded that the deaths of the two men were attributed to carbon monoxide poisoning. The re-investigation of the case is being launched under the current Georgian Dream government and is based on the request of the Zhvania and Usupov families, as they did not trust the official investigation.
The Chief Prosecutor’s Office states that on February 04, 2005, Mamuka Gvaramia interrogated one of Zhvania’s personal bodyguards, Mikheil Dzadzamia. It was recorded in the testimony that allegedly on February 02, 2005, at around 23:50, upon the instruction of Z. Zhvania, M. Dzadzamia bought food and drink in one of the supermarkets located on Saakadze Square, and thereafter they went to an apartment on Saburtalo Street, Tbilisi, where later Zhvania and Usupov were found dead.
However, it was determined that the market closed at 22:00, and therefore Dzadzamia could not have bought the products specified in his testimony. Mamuka Gvaramia also interrogated Mikheil Dzadzamia on February 10, 2005, and recorded in the testimony that allegedly on February 2, 2005, he bought drinks and products not in the supermarket located at Saakadze Square, but at a 24-hour supermarket located on Saburtalo Street.
The two investigators are accused of hindering the investigation. The Prosecutor’s Office demand their arrest as a pre-trial measure, while the detainees claim they are innocent, and simply victims of political persecution.
The Georgian Dream government members exclude political motivations in the case.
Member of the United National Movement Sergo Ratiani says that the investigation of the case is in everyone’s interest. However, such cases are politically motivated, as the government is trying to cover-up various political and economic problems in the country through using this case as a distraction to the public.
The court ruled to free Mamuka Gvaramia and Rostom Lazaria on bail.