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Georgian prosecutors reopen probe into prime minister Zurab Zhvania's death

November 27, 2012, 15:15 UTC+3

According to official reports, Zhvania died of gas poisoning

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TBILISI, November 27 (Itar-Tass) — Georgian prosecutors have reopened the probe into the circumstances of the death of Prime Minister Zurab Zhvania, Georgian Dream coalition lawmaker in the incumbent parliament Georgy Zhvania told reporters on Tuesday.

He said he had been at the Prosecutor General's Office late on Monday "to familiarize himself with the case materials."

"For my part, I provided my materials to PGO representatives. We began active cooperation," Zhvania stated.

He underlined that the "investigation into the circumstances of Zurab's death has entered the active phase; this case involves certain people; these persons will be questioned."

Zhvania said he would not give details as "it is the investigator's prerogative."

In late October - early November, 2012, Georgy Zhvania said the official version according to which Zurab Zhvania had died in a gas leak accident was "a lie."

"Zurab's death, allegedly from gas poisoning was staged then /in 2005/ by President Mikhail Sakashvili, the then Interior Minister Vano Merabishvili and Prosecutor General /Zurab Adeishvili/," the lawmaker sated. He underlined he was not accusing any official of Zurab's murder, yet, according to Zhvania, "they staged the prime minister’s death in an apartment gas leak accident."

A month ago, Georgian Prosecutor General Archil Kbilashvili said "there are suspicions that the official version of Zurab Zhvania's death is far from reality."

Z.Zhvania was an influential politician of the post-Soviet period. In 1995-2001, he was parliament speaker, and in November 2003, he became a leader in the Revolution of the Roses, together with Saakashvili and Burdzhanadze.

After Shevardnadze's resignation, Zhvania became Georgia's prime minister.

According to official reports, Zhvania, 42, and his friend, deputy governor of the Kvemo Kartli district Raul Yusupov, 27, died of gas poisoning in Yusupov's apartment in Tbilisi on February 3, 2005.

Zhvania's relatives and the Opposition have stated in the recent years that they did not believe the official version of his death and demanded reinvestigation.

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