Opposition UNM claims ruling party stands behind city council member’s death, latter denies

Nugzar Putkaradze, who was one of the 15 UNM members of the newly elected city council, died on November 18. Photo: Shot from UNMrally/Archive

Agenda.ge, 24 Nov 2021 - 21:59, Tbilisi,Georgia

Opposition United National Movement (UNM) has claimed that the ruling Georgian Dream party stands behind the death of Batumi City Council member Nugzar Putkaradze.

UNM member Giorgi Kirtadze accuses the Interior Ministry official and the father of Adjara government head Davit Rizhvadze of pressure against Putkaradze, leading to his eventual death. 

Kirtadze has said at a news briefing that Rizhvadze led negotiations with Putkaradze through two former law enforcers Vazha Tabagidze and Badri Bakuridze who forced Putkaradze leave the UNM. 

To prove that Kirtadze provided audio recordings allegedly proving the conversation between the three. He meanwhile said that the pressure against the late member of UNM Putkaradze had started much earlier. 

If the institutions were working in the country even slightly well, I am sure Mr. Nugzar would have been standing with us today“, Kirtadze said. 

Putkaradze’s sister has meanwhile noted that in recent times her brother felt worried for his children. She thinks the pressure against Nugzar might have been its reason. 

Denying the accusations, Head of Adjara government Tornike Rizhvadze is expecting for the apologies. Georgian Dream member Tite Aroshidze has also denied any connection of his party with the recordings released by the UNM. 

Following the municipal elections in October 2021, a 35-member Batumi City Council is now comprised of 16 ruling party members and 19 opposition party members including 15 UNM members, 3 For Georgia members and 1 Lelo for Georgia party member.