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Lawyer: Khardziani’s killer identified

By Thea Mariamidze
Friday, May 1
The killer of businessman Besik Khardzi has been identified, the Khardziani family lawyer, Malkhaz Salakaia, stated.

The lawyer neither confirmed nor denied the information that the suspect has escaped from Georgia.

“He has not left the country by air and his escape by land has not yet been confirmed by the police investigation,” Salakaia said.

The barrister explained that according to available evidence, the suspect was a contract killer and the eyewitnesses point to one person only. He was not hiding and was moving freely throughout the city, which helped the investigation to identify him easily.

Salakaia hopes that after seizing the suspect the identity of whoever had hired the assassin will be revealed.

He also touched upon the statements released by the family of the businessman, in which they blame the second wife of Khardziani in ordering the murder, though he requested that they not make statements which could be dismissed as being false or slanderous.

“These are unfounded statements, based on a kind of "revenge" towards the victim's new family,” the lawyer stressed.

It should be noted that the businessman’s son from his first marriage, Mikheil Khardziani, accused his father’s second wife, Eka Nonikashvili of ordering the murder. He claimed that his life and his family were at risk, as Nonikashvili intended to grab the property and assets of his father.

Businessman Besik Khardziani, who was actively campaigning against the current opposition United National Movement and several members of the party, was shot dead at his flat on March 29, 2015.

He had spent nearly two years in prison and stated that he had experienced inhumane treatment there. The businessman was released through the large-scaled amnesty carried out by the Georgian Dream government.

When released, Khardziani sued the former authorities and was struggling to regain his property.

His new family claim it was an ordered hit and is pointing a finger at UNM member Giorgi Udesiani, who wanted to claim shares of Khardziani’s owned Turtle Lake asset.

Udesiani rejects the accusations and ascribes the family statements to the shock received by the loss of a loved one.