The Georgian leadership commemorated late Prime Minister Zurab Zhvania on December 9 – the day he would have turned 43, by inaugurating a statue of him in the Georgian Parliament building.
“Zurab Zhvania was the first to lay the ground of Georgia’s statehood and the institution of parliamentarianism… Georgia is the only country in the post-Soviet space without Communist nomenklatura in the government, and this is because of Zurab Zhvania’s [efforts],” President Saakashvili said at the ceremony.
Zurab Zhvania was found dead on February 3, 2005. The Georgian authorities announced immediately that Zhvania died as a result of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning caused by a faulty gas heater. The Georgian General Prosecutor’s Office has yet to unveil the final findings of the investigation of his death, which are most likely to be identical to those initially stated by officials.
But relatives of Zhvania have questioned the official version of his death. Goga Zhvania said last year that he was sure that his brother was assassinated.
“I hope the investigation will be concluded and the truth becomes known,” Giorgi Baramidze, the Georgian State Minister for Euro-Atlantic Integration Issues, who was a close ally of Zhvania, told Rustavi 2 television on December 9.