Chief Prosecutor’s Office says previous leadership plotted murder of late Georgian billionaire Badri Patarkatsishvili

Late Georgian billionaire Badri Patarkatsishvili used to say that he had 150 bodyguards and that was not enough. Photo: National Library of Georgia., 17 Oct 2018 - 13:31, Tbilisi,Georgia

The Georgian Chief Prosecutor’s Office announced today that they have recordings which prove that the previous, United National Movement leadership was plotting to kill Georgian billionaire Badri Patarkatsishvili, who was found dead at his Surrey mansion in England on 12 February 2008.

Former official of the Constitutional Security Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs under the United National Movement government G.M. has been detained, while two other former top figures of the same agency L.K. and R.Sh have been charged for plotting murder and abuse of authority.

The Prosecutor’s Office said that they seized two recordings in 2016 which included conversations regarding the plotting of the murder of Patarkatsishvili, who had to flee Georgia in 2007 as he was accused of plotting a coup.

The recordings were made on 4 and 5 February of 2007  and the three individuals who have been charged speak about scenarios of how to kill Patarkatsishvili. They say that they are collecting information about Patarkatsishvili’s  bodyguards and the personnel and are also discussing poisoning the man with a substance which gives the impression of natural death,” the office said.

The Prosecutor’s Office stated that Patarkatsishvili’s murder “was sanctioned” by former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili and all the details of plotting of murder were agreed upon with the former head of the Constitutional Security Department Data Akhalaia, who is wanted by Georgian law enforcers.

The Prosecutor’s Office explained that they have been studying the materials and questioning related figures over the course of two years.

Patarkatsishvili backed anti-government rallies in 2007. Photo: 1TV.

Who was Badri Patarkatsishvili?

  • Patarkatsishvili was born in Tbilisi on 31 October, 1955.
  • He worked in Georgia until the collapse of the Soviet Union and then went to Russia, where he partnered with Russian  billionaire Boris Berezovsky.
  • He returned to Georgia in 2001 when he was accused of involvement in the attempted escape from prison of his partner, former head of the Aeroflot airline, Nikolai Glushkov.
  • In Georgia Patarkatsishvili, whose estimated property amounted to 12 billion USD, founded the Imedi TV channel and invested in Standard Bank and Dinamo Tbilisi football club.
  • He financially helped Saakashvili overthrow Eduard Shevardnadze’s government through the 2003 Rose Revolution.
  • Controversy between Saakashvili and Patarkatsishvili emerged after the controversial death of former PM Zurab Zhvania in 2005. They also could not agree on business-related issues.
  • In autumn 2007 Saakashvili’s former ally, ex-Defence Minister Irakli Okruashvili said that Saakashvili was plotting Patarkatsishvili’s murder.
  • Following this Patarkatsishvili backed an anti-government, large-scale rally on 2 November 2007, which was organised by 10 opposition parties.
  • The rallies led to snap presidential elections as Saakashvili decided to calm the crowd and announced his resignation.
  • On 7 November police raided Imedi TV and the government accused Patarkatsihsvili of plotting a coup.
  • Patarkatsishvili fled Georgia on 9 November and announced from the UK that he would run in the 5 January 2008 presidential elections. He came  third in the race.
  • Patarkatsishvili, aged 52, was found dead on 12 February and the British policy found no trace of foul play.