Olympic champion Zviadauri charged with premeditated murder, denied bail

Zurab Zviadauri does not admit the charge. 

Agenda.ge, 19 Aug 2021 - 14:05, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgian Olympic champion and former MP Zurab Zviadauri, who has been charged with premeditated murder, has been denied bail by a Telavi district court earlier today. 

Zviadauri was arrested on August 17 after three individuals, including Zviadauri’s brother, wera killed and one was injured in the Tsinandali village of Kakheti on August 16. 

Zviadauri says that he was forced to shoot and that it was not a premeditated murder. 

He was ready to pay 50,000 GEL bail.  

However, the prosecution says that the murdered man had shots both to the chest and back. 

Zviadauri’s lawyer says that the first shots were fired at Zviadauri when Zviadauri’s brother was wounded and the defendant had to fire a counter shot to defend himself and his brother. 

Olympic champions Lasha Talakhadze and Lasha Bekauri offered to serve as guarantors that Zviadauri would not skip bail. However, the judge dismissed the proposal. 

If found guilty Zviadauri may be sentenced up to 15 years in prison. 

The Georgian Interior Ministry reported earlier this week that a verbal dispute on an ordinary issue led to the physical confrontation in Tsinandali. 

Zviadauri won the Olympic gold medal in Judo back in 2004. He served as an MP of the ruling Georgian Dream party between 2014 and 2016.