Jury verdict: Late-PM Zhvania’s security guards found guilty

The bodies of Zhvania and Usupov were found in a rented apartment in the early morning of February 3, 2005.
Agenda.ge, 15 Aug 2015 - 02:56, Tbilisi,Georgia

Two security guards tending to Georgia’s late Prime Minister Zurab Zhvania have been found guilty of negligence, which led to the PM’s death in 2005.

Yesterday a 12-person jury found Zhvania’s chief bodyguard Koba Kharshiladze and security guard shift manager Mikheil Dzadzamia guilty of negligence by majority vote of 10 in favour and two against.

After delivering their verdict the jury recommended the judge impose a lighter sentence on the two guards, which the judge accepted. Subsequently, Dzadzamia was sentenced to eight months and 23 days in prison, but as his time in pre-trail detention was counted as imprisonment, he was released from the court. Karshiladze will remain in jail until December 24, 2015.

The two were charged with negligence due to their "careless attitude towards their work, which inadvertently caused the death of Zhvania”.

The late PM’s brother Gogla Zhvania believed the jury’s verdict was "adequate” but he also said the trail was not the main episode of his brother’s death case.

G. Zhvania, who believed his brother was killed, told journalists the investigation into the "major” issue, involving circumstances of the late PM’s death, was progressing.

Zhvania’s lifeless body was found in a rented apartment in the early morning of February 3, 2005. The body of then-Kvemo Kartli region Governor Raul Usupov was also found at the scene.

The official cause of the men’s death has not been determined but officials and experts, who examined the bodies, claimed the men died as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning from an inadequately ventilated gas heater.

However, Zhvania’s family and friends said they did not trust this version. They also did not trust the autopsy result, which expert Levan Chachua performed to the PM and Governor’s bodies shortly after the corpses were found.

An investigation into the PM’s death was resumed in late 2012 after the Georgian Dream coalition came into power.

Three separate investigations were launched in connection with Zhvania and Usupov’s unexpected death. The first was to determine the exact cause of the men’s death (this is an ongoing investigation); the second was to determine why expert Chachua did not include all body injuries in his autopsy report; and the final investigation related to the negligence charges against Zhvania’s security guards Kharshiladze and Dzadzamia.