Georgia’s Ministry of Internal Affairs has released the results of an autopsy performed on TV Pirveli cameraman Lekso Lashkarava, dated December 30, 2021, earlier today to the media.
The cause of death was listed as ‘acute cardiovascular and respiratory failure caused by heroin intoxication.’ The bureau also stated that the injuries Lashkarava sustained when attacked ‘were not causally related to the outcome’ of his death.
Cameraman Lashkarava was attacked by right-wing activists during the Tbilisi Pride events on July 5. He was one of 53 media workers assaulted by right-wing groups at the Tbilisi Pride counter rally in early July of last year. He received a concussion, facial bone fractures and multiple bruises and was later found dead at home on July 11.
The Georgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has also responded to the appearance of deceased TV Pirveli cameraman Lekso Lashkarava on UNESCO’s 2021 ‘killed journalist list, saying this is ‘not new information.’
The list published by UNESCO on incidents involving journalists around the world is not new. The list was published in July last year, very soon after the case of Lekso Lashkarava, and [moreover] the corresponding column even states that this is a [pending] case - which is an indication that UNESCO is waiting for the completion of the investigation, final information about the case from the state”, the ministry states.
The ministry added: “… the Ministry of Foreign Affairs [has requested] from the Ministry of Internal Affairs a report [on the autopsy] and which will be sent to UNESCO, as a result of which this data will be updated.”
The Georgian Interior Ministry released CCTV footage on July 11 in which Lashkarava is shown traveling on July 10 to the Tbilisi district of Ponichala, which is a district on the outskirts of the capital known for drug dealing.
During a protest rally back in July following Lashkarava’s death, opposition-minded TV outlet Pirveli, Mtavari Arkhi and Formula TV claimed that the account of a heroin overdose had been ‘deliberately faked to mislead the people.’
A total of four people were arrested for assaulting Lashkarava in the office of the Shame Movement located on Ingorokva Street in Tbilisi on July 5.