Shocking photos of late PM Zurab Zhvania’s corpse leaked on internet

Brother of late PM, Gogla Zhvania confirmed photos are authentic and they are included into the investigation case., 20 Mar 2014 - 02:00, Tbilisi,Georgia

Graphic and disturbing images showing the dead bodies of two former Georgian officials has been leaked on the internet, with the family of one victim claiming the images are "genuine”.

A one-minute photo collage of 12 images, showing the corpses of late Prime Minister Zurab Zvania and Deputy Governor of Kvemo Kartli region Raul Usupov, leaked on Youtube about midnight last night.

The video titled "Saakashvili killed Mr. Zurab Zhvania” was uploaded by a user under the name Hakim Pasha. The montage contained still photos of the bodies that identified a number of possible injuries that could be relevant to the men’s deaths.

Zhvania was found dead in a rented apartment in the early morning of February 3, 2005. He was one of the main contributors to the 2003 Rose Revolution and ally of ex-President Mikheil Saakashvili. The body of Usupov was also found at the scene.

The Prosecutor’s Office has not made any official comment about the leaked images. It is unclear whether the photos are authentic or not, however the brother of the late Prime Minister, Gogla Zhvania confirmed the photos were genuine and they were included in the case of his brother’s death.

"Unfortunately I cannot reveal anything else now,” Gogla Zhvania said.

Independent judiciary-medical expert Maia Nikoleishvili said during the first stage of investigation, Georgian experts concluded Zurab Zhvania only sustained injuries around his lips.

"He did not have any other damage. No damage had been observed on the corpse of Raul Usupov either. This is what Georgian experts concluded in the report,” Nikoleishvili stated.

Meanwhile an expert who took part in the process of reviewing the corpses claimed the photos are not authentic.

Levan Chichua said the examiners only saw damage around Zhvania’s lips and "no damage at all” to Usupov, and noted this in the report.

"I do not know from where these photos came from but I know the Prosecutor’s Office recorded everything at the time and I demand a video to be revealed which will confirm that there had not been any other damage than [the lips of] Zurab Zhvania,” Chichua stated.

The official cause of the men’s death has not been determined but officials claimed the men died as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning from an inadequately ventilated gas heater. An investigation to determine the exact cause of death is ongoing.