Ex-gas company leader questioned about PM’s death

Former head of the Tbilgazi gas company says the apartment where the late PM died was not connected with a gas supply.
Agenda.ge, 30 Mar 2014 - 21:44, Tbilisi,Georgia

A former business leader serving a life sentence in prison has been questioned about the death of Georgia’s former Prime Minister Zurab Zhvania.

Giorgi Gvichiani, who was head of the Tbilisi-based Tbilgazi gas company, wrote on his Facebook page that he told investigators there was no way there could be a gas leak in the apartment where the late PM died, as the apartment was not connected with a gas supply.

"I was questioned about Zhvania’s case by the Prosecutor's Office, about whether the building had a gas supply or not that night.

"Of course I confirmed that that night around 11pm, the gas supply to the building crashed and accordingly, it could not leak," Gvichiani wrote on Facebook.

He also mentioned his own case and indicated he had asked the Prosecution to re-interrogate the two witnesses that were pressured to give a false testimony against him but received silence in response.

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 Kvemo Kartli Governor Raul Usupov was also found at the scene.

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.

Gvichiani was questioned by Georgian authorities about Zhvania’s case on March 28.

He was arrested on March 7, 2006 and accused of assassinating Nika Lominadze, the financial manager of JSC "Telasi” in 2002. At the time, the company was distributing and selling electricity in Tbilisi.

At that time Gvichiani was the commercial manager at Telasi. He was sentenced to life imprisonment after pleading not guilty.