The jury found two security guards of late MP Zurab Zhvania, Koba Kharshiladze and Mikheil Dzadzamia, guilty on August 14.
Jury Finds Late MP Zurab Zhvania’s security guards guilty
By Tea Mariamidze
Monday, August 17
The bodyguards were accused of negligence of their official duties on the night when Zhvania was found dead more than ten years ago.
The 12 members of jury failed to reach a unanimous decision during the first three hours, after six more hours they managed to pass the verdict and found the security guards guilty of negligence by a majority vote of 10 in favour and two against.
After jurors recommended a lenient sentence for the both men, the judge Eka Areshidze ordered eight months and 23 days of imprisonment for Dzadzamia, which actually resulted into his immediate release because he had already spent this term while in pre-trial detention before being released on bail. In the case of Kharshiladze, the judge ordered 1 year and 9 months of imprisonment, which became largely absorbed by his already serving jail term in connection to a separate, unrelated case and as a result he will be released from prison in December 24.
Zurab Zhvania’s bother, Gogla Zhvania, who is a lawmaker from the Georgian Dream coalition and who was present at the trial, welcomed the verdict.
“This case is specifically tied to the negligence of the bodyguards and the jury has made an adequate decision,” Gogla Zhvania declared.
Zhvania’s lifeless body was found in a rented apartment in the early morning on February 3, 2005. The body of Raul Usupov, the then- Deputy Governor of the Kvemo Kartli region was also found at the scene.
In February, a 2005 official investigation attributed death of the two men to carbon monoxide poisoning, caused by an improperly installed gas heater. The investigation into the case was resumed in late 2012 after the Georgian Dream coalition came into power and is based on the request of the Zhvania and Usupov families, as they did not trust the official investigation and claimed that the two were killed.