Body of Georgian late-Prime Minister may be exhumed

Zurab Zhvania was found dead in the early morning of February 3, 2005. Photo by AFP, 16 Jan 2014 - 15:34, Tbilisi,Georgia

The body of one of Georgias leading Prime Ministers, who died in unknown circumstances, could be exhumed.

The Government said there was a high possibility the body of ex-Prime Minister Zurab Zhvania will be unearthed.  

Zhvania was found dead in a rented apartment in the early morning of February 3, 2005. The body of Raul Usupov, who at the time was the deputy governor of Georgia's Kvemo Kartli region, was also found at the scene.

Officials claimed that the men died as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning from an inadequately ventilated gas heater however the cause of death has not been determined.

Current Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili said the Chief Prosecutors office had spent many intensive hours investigating Zhvanias death..

Garibahsvili praised former Chief Prosecutor Otar Partskhaladze and his team who "did so much in a short time.  

"As for Zhvanias case, there are talks about exhumation, Garibashvili said.

"We plan to create a special commission for this. There are also ongoing consultations with Thomas Hammarberg [EU special representative to Georgia] in order to get him involved in this and make the process all transparent. We are motivated to investigate this case and no questions should be left unanswered, the PM stated.

Currently, officials are in discussions with overseas experts to finalise the decision.

The late Prime Minister was one of the main contributors of the 2003 Rose Revolution. Zhvania was elected as Prime Minister February 2004, after a proposal by the then-President Mikheil Saakashvili.

An investigation to determine the exact cause of Zhvania and Usupovs deaths is ongoing.