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Eleven former officials charged

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Thursday, February 5
Eleven former law enforcement officials have been officially charged with premeditated murder, falsification of evidence and illegal detention by the Chief prosecutor’s Office of Georgia with regard to the notorious murder case of Zurab Vazagashvili.

The Chief Prosecutor’s Office announced on February 2 that Zurab Vazagashvili’s case, whose father Iuri Vazagashvili was killed at his son’s grave a couple two weeks ago, was re-opened. 11 individuals were detained, the former Deputy Chief of the Central Police Department Irakli Pirtskhalava was among them.

The Chief Prosecutor’s Office stated that the special operation that took place in 2006 in Tbilisi through which Zurab Vazagashvili and Aleksandre Khubulov were killed by police and their friend injured was staged by Pirtskhalava, who on the one hand wanted to take revenge on Khubulov and on the other hand, wished to upgrade his rating as a policeman fighting against crime.

“Several days before the fatal incident, Pirtskhalava’s brother was detained for the possession of drugs. The police were informed concerning the individual by Khubulov,” the office stated.

Despite the arrest the, Vazagashvili family states that 46 men participated in the murder and all of them should answer for their crimes.

“Some of them quit law-enforcement entities only after Iuri’s murder. We are waiting for more arrests,” Manana Vazagashvili, Iuri Vazagashvili’s sister said.

All the detainees deny their guilt, stating that the charges were invented.

Meanwhile, Levan Gabunia made statement that Zurab Vazagashvili in 2002killed 21-year-old Beqa Papuashvili, and that this was witnessed by lean Gabunia’s son Giorgi Gabunia, who was later also killed in 2003 by Z. Vazagashvili.

“After the Rose Revolution they thought that the case of Beqa Papuashvili may have been investigated, therefore, they killed the witness in 2003,” Levan Gabunia said.

According to him, the same day that Papuashvili was murdered, police officers detained Z. Vazagashvili. However, they released him a short time later after Iuri Vazagashvili bribed police.

“When the new government came into power, I hoped that the case of my son would be investigated, but I hoped in vain,” he added.

“Z. Vazagashvili was a robber, a thief and a murderer,” Levan Gabunia said. “Iuri Vazagashvili was a criminal”, he added.

The statements were described by Vazagashvili’s lawyers as false and an attempt to discredit the Vazagashvilili’s family.