Georgian Rustavi 2 TV founder and ex-owner found dead

Georgian politician and media executive Erosi Kitsmarishvili has found dead at his car this late afternoon., 15 Jul 2014 - 23:38, Tbilisi,Georgia

Founder of Georgian television channel Rustavi 2 and ex-Mayoral candidate of Rustavi city, Erosi Kitsmarishvili, has been found dead in central Tbilisi.

Kitsmarishvili's body was inside his car, which was parked in underground parking at his Vake home. Officials said a firearm was found nearby, which was registered to Kitsmarishvili.

The Prosecutor's Office today released a statement that confirmed the firearm found at the scene was yesterday registered to Kitsmarishvili. 

"The investigation started according to Georgian Criminal Law, Article 115 (to persuade a person to suicide), which was caused by factual circumstances existing at the initial stage. Various versions of the case are being discussed and checked. The results of the investigation will be released for society later,” read the statement.

A staff member of Tbilisi gun store 'Diana' confirmed to local media that Kitsmarishvili had purchased Czech pistol ČZ 75. Kitsmarishvili's friend Badri Nanetashvili also told Georgian media that he planned to buy the gun as a gift for his brother.

A special investigation group comprised of employees of Ministry of Internal Affairs and Prosecutor's Office will work to investigate the cause of Kitsmarishvili's death, which is of "great interest of society”.

Kitsmarishvili took part in the recent elections - he was a Mayoral candidate of Rustavi city, near Tbilisi and lost in the first round of self-government elections on June 15.

Before he became involved in politics, he was a Georgian media executive and the ex-Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Georgia to the Russian Federation in 2008.

Prior to accepting the Ambassadorial post, Kitsmarishvili created and owned Rustavi 2 broadcasting company.

In November 2009, Kitsmarishvili took over the management rights of the Tbilisi-based pro-opposition television station Maestro TV until he was replaced.