Interior Ministry names overdose as possible reason for TV Pirveli cameraman’s death

People pay tribute to the late cameraman in front of the parliament of Georgia. Photo:, 11 Jul 2021 - 19:02, Tbilisi,Georgia

The Georgian Interior Ministry has named drug overdose as a possible reason for the death of TV Pirveli cameraman Lekso Lashkarava earlier today.

Head of the Central Criminal Police Mamuka Tchelidze told journalists at a news briefing that Lashkarava drove a moped to several locations in Tbilisi yesterday, including Ponitchala (one of the well-known districts of drug dealing in the outskirts of Tbilisi). 

Tchelidze noted that he did not intend to mention Ponitchala among the locations that Lashkarava had visited with his friend, not to create any preliminary  publicopinion over the reasons of his death.

A forensic medical examination, which has been scheduled today is still ongoing, this is why it will not be correct and professional when the investigation talks about [drug] overdose in advance”, Tchelide said.

He however confirmed that the drug overdose is one of the versions that the investigation alleges among the reasons behind the TV Pirveli cameraman’s death.

[The examination] will thoroughly study the immediate causes of death, the role of drugs in his death, if any, or any other possible consequences”, Tchelidze told journalists. 

Police took Lekso Lashkarava’s body for a forensic examination to define the exact reason of his death without his family’s consent this morning, causing wide public outcry. An independent expert has been eventually allowed to get involved in the forensic examination. 

The investigation into Lashkarava’s death has started under the Article 115 of the Criminal Code of Georgia – ‘incitement to suicide’.

The Interior Ministry calls on his family and friends to ‘cooperate with the investigation’ and to hand over Lashkarava’s mobile phone ‘ as it may contain important information for the investigation’.