BROTHER OF LATE GEORGIAN PM SKEPTICAL ABOUT INVESTIGATORS' CONCLUSIONS

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TBILISI, April 4 (RIA Novosti) - Georgy Zhvania, brother to the late Georgian Prime Minister Zurab Zhvania, doubts the credibility of the conclusions made by the investigator team looking into the circumstances of his tragic death two months ago, the Novosti Gruzia news agency reports. The premier is believed to have died of CO poisoning while staying with a friend. The friend, Raul Yusupov, died in the accident, as well. He had been deputy presidential envoy to the Georgian province of Kvemo.

Georgy became doubtful of the investigators' objectivity as he found out that no fingerprints had been discovered in Yusupov's apartment. Also, the cigarette butts found here did not look like they had been left over by his brother. "Zurab had a distinct manner of smoking-he would never smoke cigarettes to the end and would put them out in a quite original way," Georgy said. He made it clear that his suspicions went beyond the two cited facts, but stopped short of revealing the rest.

State Minister for European Integration Georgy Baramidze, who was a friend and an associate of the late Prime Minister, does not agree the investigation is biased. Speaking to reporters Monday, Baramidze said he was certain that "there can be no hidden currents in the probe" as everyone in Georgia, including the head of state, wanted the investigation conducted properly so that the truth could be established.

Zurab Zhvania and Yusupov were found dead in the latter's apartment on February 3.

The findings of a forensic study that were released the following day indicated that the men's death had been caused by carbon monoxide poisoning. A biochemical blood test showed high COHb (carboxihemoglobin) concentration (the main indicator of high-level CO exposure), 60.6 percent in Zhvania and 73.9 percent in Yusupov.

The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation conducted its own forensic tests. Its findings, made public on April 1, fully confirm the poisoning theory put forward by Georgian authorities.

According to the FBI, the gas heater in Yusupov's apartment had been installed without due compliance with safety rules. No proper air ventilation was provided, which led to the emission of carbon monoxide and a dramatic reduction in the amount of oxygen in the flat.

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