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Prosecutor General Zodelava: between power and law2009-10-09 18:04
The opposition plans to do a political endurance test for Georgia's new prosecutor Murtaz Zodelava. He will be given the notorious case on Zurab Vazagashvili murdered by police. Earlier the law-enforcement officers were acquitted by the Georgian courts, and the relatives filed a lawsuit in Strasbourg. It will be clear on which side Zodelava is - authorities or law - by the way he will treat the case.
A while ago Georgian deputy Giya Tsagareishvili stated he would submit the case on Zurab Vazagashvili murdered by police to Tbilisi's new prosecutor in accordance with the request of the dead man's father.
Yesterday they held a joint press conference where Yuri Vazagashvili who had lost his son, complained that other representatives of the opposition had not taken control of the case yet.
In Georgia the Zurab Vazagashvili case is similar to the notorious murder of Sandro Girgviliani, a bank clerk and Amiran Robakidze, who also died as a result of the police abuse of power. "Georgian justice went completely broke on all these cases. There was no real justice when these cases were considered", - Vazagashvili family lawyer Malkhaz Janghirashvili stated once.
On May 2 2006 there was a raid for a BMW car near Dymano tennis court in Tbilisi. Two of three persons inside the car - Alexander Khubulov and Zurab Vazagashvili - were killed. The third one - Buba Buturidze - was injured.
A criminal police officer was slightly wounded, and a police car was damaged too.
According to the detectives Zurab Vazagashvili and his accomplices were preparing an assault related to robbery on a family in Tbilisi. Four guns were found in the car of the suspects as well as two hand-held radios, adhesive tape and masks in accordance with the inquest materials.
But the relatives of the dead men disproved this version calling for thorough investigation into the case.
Representatives of Georgia's Ombudsman administration were casual witnesses of the scene of murder. They suggest the police had made an ambush and were first to open fire.
Later the investigators ignored the evidence of the witnesses, putting pressure and forcing them not to testify, destroying the evidence and hampering the work of the lawyers.
In April 2007 - almost a year after the murder - the case on abuse of authority by the police officers was closed in lack of evidence. Besides the inquest divested the Vazagashvili family of the status of the aggrieved which made it impossible to contest the ruling in Georgia.