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Kakha Bendukidze Dies at 58
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 14 Nov.'14 / 04:14

Kakha Bendukidze, who was behind many of Georgia’s anti-corruption and liberal economic reforms under ex-president Mikheil Saakashvili’s administration, died on November 13 in London aged 58.

Cause of death was not immediately clear. Bendukidze’s friends and colleagues in Tbilisi said he had recently undergone stent surgery.

“I am shocked and horrified,” ex-president Saakashvili wrote on his Facebook page. “Today he was not responding to my SMS messages for the first time. I was surprised and then I was informed [about Bendukidze’s death].”

Bendukidze, who amassed wealth in Russia in 1990s, moved back to Georgia in 2004, when he was appointed as economy minister.

He then served as state minister in charge of reforms in 2004-2008 and was head of government’s administration till early 2009.

Several years ago Bendukidze started investing in education sector in Georgia, launching the Free University, and also invested in the Agrarian University.

Bendukidze was one of the members of the Ukrainian government’s international expert council tasked with advising on economic reforms.

President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko expressed condolences to Bendukidze’s family, friends and to “those millions for whom [Bendukidze] was and still remains driving force for big changes.”

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