Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili has welcomed the continuation of an investigation into the death of the first President of Georgia Zviad Gamsakhurdia, who was found dead on 31 December 1993 in unclear circumstances.
Several of Gamsakhurdia’s guards claimed that the first president committed suicide.
However, Gamsakhurdia’s family strongly oppose the version of events and say that he was killed.
I hope that the investigation will reveal the truth in the case and justice will be restored,” Zurabishvili said.
The investigation into the case has been ongoing for 25 years, and its limitation period expires on 31 December, 2018.
Gamsakhurdia’s sons Tsotne and Konstantine went on hunger strike on 14 December to achieve the continuation of the investigation.
On the 13th day of the protest Georgian Chief Prosecutor Shalva Tadumadze and Tsotne Gamsakhurdia held a meeting and agreed that a special commission will be created in the Prosecutor’s office, composed of local and foreign experts, chaired by the chief prosecutor, which will investigate the case.
Moreover, the parliament of Georgia will enact changes that will increase the limitation period for especially grave crimes from current 25 years to 30 years, and the changes will be carried out this week.
Georgian Public Defender Nino Lomjaria stated that her office studied 16 volumes of the case in September-November of 2018 and concluded that the case of his death was inappropriately investigated.
Gamsakhurdia died in circumstances that are still unclear. It is known that he died in the village of Khibula in the Samegrelo region of western Georgia and later was re-buried in the village of Jikhashkari of the same region.
Based on reports his body was found with a single bullet wound to the head.
Gamsakhurdia was overthrown in a coup in 1992 and was trying to return to power when he was killed.