Ex-President Saakashvili’s TV claims alarm late PM’s family

The late PM's wife is going to hold a special briefing regarding Saakashvili's statements.
Agenda.ge, 26 Mar 2014 - 00:16, Tbilisi,Georgia

The wife of the late Prime Minister of Georgia Zurab Zhviania says ex-President Mikheil Saakashvili is lying about a conversation between the pair when he was interviewed on television last night.

The interview was recorded in Kiev, Ukraine.

Nino Kadagidze said the conversation did not develop in the way Saakashvili described but would not elaborate and said she would hold a press conference today to discuss the matter further.

When appearing on Rustavi 2 television last night, Saakashvili said: "When Zurab died his wife and brother started speaking strange things. I asked his wife to come.”

"She came and I asked her what about she was speaking about when she had seen everything, she was there. She replied that she did not have any pretensions to me but mentioned Zura owned a lot of money, as all politicians did. I replied I did not have any money and asked her to be make it clear about what she was talking about,” Saakashvili said on television.

"She said one person told her that Zura was given a lot of money two years earlier before his death and she wanted to receive part of that money, which she supposed could be in bodyguards’ hands.”

"As we further found out, Patarkatsishvili [Georgian tycoon and founder of Imedi TV who died in 2008] told this to her since he was the employer of Zura’s brother. For me, this [conversation about the money] was unacceptable,” Saakashvili stated.

Kadagidze denied this was how the conversation took place and said she would make an additional statement today at a press conference.

In her opinion, the noise was caused to pressure the investigation process of democratization and it was very important for independent forensic experts to prepare their research and present conclusions.

The brother the late PM, Gogla Zhvania, also made a comment in response to Saakashvili’s interview and said Skashvili and Zhavania were quite opposite to each other before the velvet revolution.

"At the elections in 2003, United National Movement fought more against the United Democrats than against the then-government. They were only united during the rally of the Rose Revolution and that was a public demand,” he said.

Zhvania also indicated people had different interpretations of the word "friends” as Saakshvili claimed he and Zura were "close friends”.

Graphic and disturbing images showing the dead bodies of Zurab Zhviania and another former Geogian official was leaked on the internet last week.

The video titled "Saakashvili killed Mr. Zurab Zhvania” was uploaded by a user under the name Hakim Pasha. The montage contained 12 still photos of the bodies that identified a number of possible injuries that could be relevant to the men’s deaths.

In addition, Saakashvili has been summoned to be questioned by the Chief Prosecutor’s Office tomorrow (March 27, 2014) in relation to a number of high-profile criminal cases. He will be questioned as a witness in various cases, including the case of the ex-PM’s death.

If the former president does not return to Georgia and present for questioning, he may become sought internationally.