Interior Ministry doubles down on drug overdose story as alleged reason for TV Pirveli cameraman’s death

  • Lekso Lashkarava, who was one of the 53 media representatives attacked by the right-wing groups during the Tbilisi Pride counter rally on July 5, was found dead yesterday. Photo: Shot from TV Pirveli video, 12 Jul 2021 - 21:51, Tbilisi,Georgia

The Georgian Interior Ministry has provided more details to support its claim that TV Pirveli cameraman Lekso Lashkarava, who was beaten severely at the July 5 Tbilisi pride counter rally, died due to a drug overdose.

Head of the Central Criminal Police Mamuka Tchelidze said although the forensic examination is still underway to reveal the exact reason for Lashkarava’s death, the samples taken from the corpse contained several different drugs, including morphine and codeine. 

Tchelidze also said that Lashkarava, accompanied by a friend, bought drugs in Ponichala - one of the well-known districts of drug dealing in the outskirts of Tbilisi – the day before his death. 

He added as well that after Lashkarava consumed the drugs late at night he felt unwell and this can be proved by the video footages obtained from the nearby surveillance cameras. 

Interior Minister Vakhtang Gomelauri has meanwhile met with diplomatic corps earlier today:

Following the briefing, journalists, civil activists and politicians, who had gathered in front of the parliament building in downtown Tbilisi demanding Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili’s resignation, have marched to the headquarters of the ruling Georgian Dream party in protest.

The investigation into Lashkarava’s death has started under the Article 115 of the Criminal Code of Georgia – ‘incitement to suicide’. The forensic examination to define the exact reason of his death is also underway. 

Meanwhile, five right-wing activists have been detained for assaulting Lekso Lashkarava in the office of the Shame Movement in Tbilisi on July 5 during the counter-rally against the Tbilisi Pride march.