Skip to comments.Georgian Prime Minister Found Dead
Posted on 02/03/2005 3:05:39 PM PST by swilhelm73
TBILISI, Georgia (AP) - Prime Minister Zurab Zhvania, who helped lead Georgia's revolution that toppled the corruption-tainted regime of Eduard Shevardnadze, died early Thursday in a friend's apartment from what officials claimed was an accidental gas leak from a heater.
Georgia's interior minister said there was no reason to suspect foul play, but a lawmaker reportedly pointed the finger at ``outside forces.'' His remarks were aimed at Russia, which has ties with Georgia's separatist regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, and prompted a terse response from Moscow.
The lawmaker, Alexander Shalamberidze, noted that the death of Zhvania, 41, came days after a car bombing that killed three policemen in Gori, the city nearest to South Ossetia. Zhvania, considered a moderate influence in the government of this former Soviet republic, had been trying to negotiate settlements with the separatist regions.
``The explosion in Gori and Zhvania's death have dealt strong blows to our state. Now our neighbors are going to take advantage of that, they are saying we are almost savages living in the cold,'' Shalamberidze said.
Asked whom he meant, he replied: ``Russia. They are trying to prevent Georgia from getting stronger. The entire Russian diplomatic activity regarding our country confirms that.''
In Moscow, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, asked about the lawmaker's allegation, responded: ``The statements of those who rush to make judgments ... will remain on their consciences.''
Zhvania was a key ally of President Mikhail Saakashvili in leading the November 2003 protests against election fraud that came to be known as the ``Rose Revolution.'' The demonstrations drove Shevardnadze to resign.
The prosecutor-general's office said an investigation into Zhvania's death had been opened and an autopsy was under way.
Georgia has a history of political intrigue that sometimes turns violent.
In addition to the talks with the separatists, Zhvania was trying to crack down on corruption and crime.
The prime minister was visiting the Tbilisi apartment of his friend, Zurab Usupov, deputy governor of the Kvemo-Kartli region, who also died, Interior Minister Vano Merabishvili said on Rustavi-2 television.
Zhvania arrived at the apartment about midnight Wednesday, and when his security guards heard no signs of life about four hours later, they broke in through a window, Merabishvili said.
``It is an accident,'' Merabishvili said. ``We can say that poisoning by gas took place.''
A gas-fired heating stove was in the main room of the apartment, where a table was set up with a backgammon set lying open upon it. Zhvania was in a chair; Usupov's body was found in the kitchen. Police gave no other details.
Hundreds of Georgians, many with tears in their eyes, gathered Thursday outside the home of Zhvania's mother in central Tbilisi, where a wooden coffin with his body was delivered. A funeral was planned for Sunday.
Later, at St. Trinity Cathedral, Saakashvili and several top ministers met with Georgian Patriarch Ilya II and lit candles in Zhvania's memory. Speaking outside, a visibly shaken president urged people to remain calm.
``I assume control over the executive branch and I call on members of the Cabinet to return to work and to continue their work as normal,'' Saakashvili said.
Saakashvili created the post of prime minister shortly after his election in January 2004, and he nominated Zhvania for the job.
Some critics said at the time that creating the post was essentially a move to satisfy the ambitions of Zhvania, whose joining with Saakashvili in the protests was seen as partly a marriage of convenience.
In Georgia, the president wields most of the authority. The prime minister is approved by parliament and names a government, but the president has the power to name the ministers of defense, security and the interior.
On the day before his death, Zhvania had urged Georgians to hold back from suspecting South Ossetian involvement in the car-bombing in Gori.
Zhvania's government also was working to overcome Georgia's endemic corruption, which had enriched some Shevardnadze-era officials while the economy deteriorated.
Levan Chichua, a top official in Georgia's National Bureau of Forensic Medicine, said there were no signs of violence and that preliminary examination showed both died from carbon monoxide poisoning. Deputy Prosecutor-General Georgy Dzhanashia said the heater was installed ``with serious technical violations ... there was no ventilation in the apartment.''
Central heating is scarce in Georgia. Many people rely on gas or wood stoves in their homes and fatal accidents are often reported.
At an emergency Cabinet meeting earlier in the day, Saakashvili said Zhvania's death was a personal blow.
``Georgia has lost a great patriot, who devoted his entire life to serving the motherland,'' Saakashvili said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin sent a telegram of condolence to Saakashvili, which said Zhvania ``was well known in Russia as a supporter of the development of friendly, good-neighborly relations between the Russian and Georgian peoples.''
A minister in South Ossetia's separatist government, Boris Chochiyev, expressed shock.
Zhvania was ``among the Georgian politicians who favored a peaceful settlement of the conflict. I can say that he represented the party of peace,'' Chochiyev told The Associated Press.
Zhvania is survived by his wife and three children.
I never went anywhere Senior Troll.
I was here before you, and I'll be hear long after you take up trolling some other forum.
Damn, you're fun.
(One more letter than "troll", BTW.)
Gads, man! If you're on the right side of an argument, then fight. If you're not, then admit that you are wrong and get on with it.
I have another one of these things going on where I very much hoped I was wrong and would have loved to declare myself so, but as of yet, cannot do.
You are in the wrong on this one. Go back and read your own thread.
Then, let's get on with it.
OK, please give me some links and I'll check it out.
well, you should probably start with;
I bet you would find that site to be very useful. Or maybe
Just a suggestion.
Here's some suggestions for you;
So, I guess you didn't bother to try out TA, huh?
Oh well, the recidivism rate for trolling is quite high, as you quite well demonstrate.
Again, spot the difference between the two numbers (and a a hint, the number 2 is between 1 and 4);
1 : 4
Do stare at that awhile, will you?
Well, yes, that is indeed what you need to do, troll, until you can spot the difference.
My sentiments exactly, troll.
I don't feel particularly smacked just yet. Did I miss something?
All I see is you making a fool of yourself. Have you bothered to read the links provided?
That's what I thought.
You've been outted as a liar already
Can you provide a reference for that one?
You've claimed this article is a repost.
You were wrong.
You were informed of your error.
You continued to make the claim.
As such, your claim moves from an error to a lie.
But then why do I waste logic on you, when it seems simple math is the issue at hand?
Again, count with me...
You'll note, hopefully with the help of the Count, that one of those numbers represents a singular amount.
You were wrong.
*snicker* You forgot to say "troll."
As such, your claim moves from an error to a lie.
Myself, Admin Moderator, TommyDale, Archangel86 and The Coopster are all liars. Gotcha. But you cannot possibly be wrong. Oh, no.
Now you're getting it!
Let's try another counting game.
Let's say that I post an article entitled "The Pope's Health Worsens" and you post another entitled "The Pope is Ill."
How may times has the information contained in your article been posted on FR?
I know you are going to say ONCE!
As such, I encourage you to go read the mod's thread. There you may find that your "The Pope is Ill" thread, even though it may contain some new nugget of information, would have been better placed as a comment on the first thread.
Is any of this getting through?
Again, troll, you persist with the lying.
The article was posted once.
I know this, you know this, well, perhaps one of your personalities does.
Though your pathetic attempts to state that is was posted more then once continue to amaze me, I've gotten to watch leftist insanity up close and it has become boring, your delusion is rather different and new...
It will be interesting to see how long you last here. Between your inability to understand even the simplest FRules, and penchant for posting nonsense, one would think it won't be long. Still, if you insist on making a fool of yourself like this, who am I to deny the joy in watching it?
Oh, and again troll a repost is, by defintion, something posted more then one.
Yow! I give that one a seven on the "troll" usage and an eight on the "swilhelm73's head is still up his butt" category.
Have you bothered to reread your own thread, start to finish, yet?
Have you read the mod's thread? Just what are the simplest FRules? Only the ones you agree with?
Yes troll, my posts do rank highly on the troll smacking meter. We've already discussed your propensity to enjoy being troll-wacked. Is your memory that short?
And yes it is an open question how you a) can't comprehend the "re" in "repost" b) can't comprehend the FRules c) continue to beg for your well deserved smack downs.
Oh well, keep the insanity coming troll, I'm no Susan Powter.
Well hey, you would be the expert on the subject, no?
BTW, it is again the rules, Troll-pin to register multiple accounts.
So, cicero's_son, the focus has shifed to you.
Please keep me posted on swilhelm73's demise.
Five years I've been on this site just waiting for the perfect trolling opportunity. And I would have found it, too, if it hadn't been for that meddling Swilhelm73!
Actually, I'd wager it is the other way around.
It would explain the trolling by the other username quite well...
Heh. Still can't read, or comprehend, apparently.
BTW, is the statue in Seattle a good likeness of you?
What kind of help is it exactly that you want me to get for you?
Wow! Imagine working in that building.