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Ivanishvili states key witness in Vazagashvili’s case is in Ukraine

By Tea Mariamidze
Monday, January 26
Georgia’s former Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili attended Iuri Vazagashvili’s funeral service on January 24 and spoke about his version of the crime.

Ivanishvili confirmed that he met with Iuri Vazagashvili a few days before he was killed by an explosion at his son’s grave in the Kaspi region.

“He told me: ‘there are new witnesses in Zurab Vazagashvili’s murder case; they are in Ukraine.”

“He mentioned a lot of surnames. I promised Iuri that I would stand with him. I know that the investigation is aware of all these things,” Ivanishvili said.

“I promise the entire nation that those who committed the horrible crime will be strictly punished,” Ivanishvili said.

He stated that Iuri Vazagashvili was happy with the activities of the Chief Prosecutor’s Office.

“There were many new details in the case and he was informed concerning the investigation process,” Ivanishvili said.

Ivanishvili stated he was ready to answer the questions of the Prosecutor’s Office if the body summoned him for questioning.

With regard to the Internal Minister Aleksandre Tchikaidze’s resignation in connection of the case, Ivanishvili stated that the latter made the right decision.

“If the people who participated in the Zurab Vazahashvili’s murder really work in high posts, they must be fired and punished,” Ivanishvili said.

The Ministry of Internal Affairs has launched an investigation regarding the premeditated murder of Iuri Vazagashvili, who was killed by an explosion planted next to his son’s grave which he was visiting on January 20.

Vazagashvili had campaigned for an investigation into the death of his son who was killed in a police operation in 2006.

In April 2007 the authorities closed the investigation into allegations that the police used excessive force. However, the Vazagashvili family continued to accuse the authorities of fabricating evidence and various wrongdoing in the case. In 2007, the family also took the case to the Strasbourg-based European Court of Human Rights.

The authorities reopened the investigation after the change of government in late 2012, and it is still pending.