TBILISI, January 16 (RIA Novosti) – The body of a former Georgian prime minister is to be exhumed as part of a new investigation into the circumstances of his death.
The remains of Zurab Zhvania, who died in February 2005, will be sent for forensic testing in Switzerland, Georgia’s Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili told reporters.
Zhvania, who played a key role in Georgia’s pro-western Rose Revolution in 2003, died from what investigators called accidental carbon monoxide poisoning from a faulty gas heater at a rented apartment.
His death a year after he became prime minister led some family members to allege that he had been the victim of a politically motivated assassination.
“The issue of exhuming Zhvania’s body has been raised, and Georgia’s chief prosecutor’s office plans to involve a Swiss laboratory in this process,” Gharibashvili said.
Prosecutors reopened the investigation into Zhvania’s death after the opposition Georgian Dream coalition led by billionaire businessman Bidzina Ivanishvili won a majority of seats in the 2012 parliamentary election, defeating the United National Movement of the then President Mikheil Saakashvili.