No More Tabooed


Assassination of Guram Sharadze Is No More Tabooed

Nino Mikiashvili
Based on recently discovered circumstances, Human Rights Center, family members of Guram Sharadze and their attorney, Gela Nikolaishvili, appealed to the Prosecutor General’s Office and requested repeated investigation of the assassination of Guram Sharadze. In a month we will know whether the prosecutor’s office has considered the appeal.

In parallel to it, non-governmental organizations are demanding punishment for the murderer of Guram Sharadze. On February 27 movement “November 7” organized a demonstration where representatives of the political parties and NGOs demanded punishment for the murderers of Guram Sharadze, Girgvliani, Vazagashvili, Robakidze, Gamtsemlidze and Shavadze.

“I am very glad that at last the assassination of Guram Sharadze is not tabooed any more. Almost two years have passed since the accident and those politicians who claim to be democrats and patriots still keep silence regarding it,” said Rusudan Sharadze, daughter of late Guram Sharadze in her interview with “Mteli Kvira.”

On February 24 “Mteli Kvira” attended the press-conference organized by Ucha Nanuashvili, executive director of the Human Rights Center. Some issues regarding the assassination of Guram Sharadze was discussed at the press-conference.

“We doubted from the very beginning that officially conducted investigation consisted of plenty of contradictions. The case was fabricated and there were a lot of unanswered questions. On November 14 2008 Supreme Court of Georgia did not satisfy the cassation suit of the attorneys and concluded final verdict; the court claimed that assassination of Guram Sharadze “is not important for the development of justice and for the establishment of common judiciary practice.”

“In January of 2009 Human Rights Center and magazine “Sitkva” carried out journalistic investigation within the project “Monitoring of Judiciary System in Georgia”; the investigation was conducted on the assassination of Guram Sharadze. Lia Toklikishvili was leader of the investigation; the project is supported by the “Eurasian Partnership Foundation”. 

Investigation once more demonstrated the truth and exposed the version of the government regarding the partiality of the family as a groundless. Our investigation showed that assassination of Guram Sharadze was not investigated in fact. Case materials prove that Giorgi Barateli is not a murderer. In fact other people have killed him who are very much different from Barateli in appearance,” said Ucha Nanuashvili.

“There is a lot of doubt regarding the guiltiness of Giorgi Barateli who is sent to prison for 27 years. Neither investigation nor court satisfied a single solicitation. The trials were not only unfair but cynic too. Attorney of Guram Sharadze’s family is preparing the appeal for Strasbourg,” stated the press-release of the Human Rights Center.

Assassination of Guram Sharadze was discussed at all three instances of Georgian court and it can be sent to Human Rights Court in Strasbourg at any time before May 14 2009. However, Gela Nikolaishvili, attorney for the family, who has recently involved the case, will have to wait for the reply from the prosecutor’s office within one month.

As we stated above, prosecutor general’s office is requested to start repeated investigation on recently discovered circumstances during journalistic investigation. Madlen Macharashvili, author of the journalistic investigation and Lia Toklikishvili, leader of the investigation stated at the press conference organized by the Human Rights Center.

“The court did not satisfy the solicitations of the attorneys of the victim side. They requested to interrogate the witnesses who saw the murderer at the moment of accident or several seconds after it. We were visiting each family in the neighborhood to find similar people and finally discovered many witnesses. Another serious violation was court’s decision on declining the video-recording of the insurance company “Aldagi” as a proof (the murder of Guram Sharadze was recorded on it). The reason for declining the recording was poor quality of the recording. Here we would like to ask the court – don’t they have any technical equipment to improve the quality of the recording? Those who have seen the recording stated that very important circumstances can be demonstrated by the recording because appearance and height of the murderer is very different from Giorgi Barateli’s appearance. The real murderer is much taller than Barateli. Besides that, everybody can see on the recording that real murderer has dark, long hair while Barateli looked quite different; people remember that he had his head shaven.”

Author and leader of the journalistic investigation draw attention to some more details; one of them is a testimony of witness Aleksandra Pirumova, who has “made everything head over hills.”

Aleksandra Pirumova is a friend of Giorgi Barateli’s uncle Roland Grikurov; the latter brought up Barateli. Mrs. Pirumova stated that 6 days before the accident Roland Grikurov brought Barateli to her house and asked to keep him in her house for several days. Barateli’s aunt was ill and the boy felt bad when he saw how his aunt was injected. According to Pirumova’s testimony about half an hour or one hour before the assassination Giorgi Barateli was called on the mobile phone. He was talking in a loud voice on the phone and demanded them not to call him again; then he rushed out of the house.

“The court did not inquire who called Giorgi Barateli and where he went so rapidly,” said the author and leader of journalistic investigation.

Court did not raise many important questions at the trial but family of Guram Sharadze has been asking a lot of questions since May 20, 2007; though there is no reply. Rusudan Sharadze supposed that law enforcers were waiting for Giorgi Barateli when he left Pirumova’s house. “The ground for my supposition is announcement of journalist Davit Kikalishvili on TV Company “Rustavi 2” when he stated at 9:00 pm on May 20 that in the morning patrol police was looking for Giorgi Barateli in their office because he was working for the TV Company. So, law enforcers were looking for Barateli before my father was killed,” reported Rusudan Sharadze to “Mteli Kvira”. She mentioned one more very important detail.

“Giorgi Barateli was sent to prison for 27 years but not only for the assassination of Guram Sharadze. He is charged for having wounded certain Tirzikian. According to case materials, on May 5 Giorgi Barateli wounded his doctor Tirzikian. And do you know when medical expertise was made on the wounded? On May 21, next day after Guram Sharadze was killed. After that Tirzikian disappeared; he is not in Georgia anymore. Apparently he was paid much money to disappear. All these campaign aimed to create an image of Barateli who had mental problems.”

Rusudan Sharadze, in the name of their family, and with the support of the newspaper “Mteli Kvira” wants to express her gratitude to the lawyers Nino Nishnianidze and Nugzar Birkaia who represented the family of Guram Sharadze all three instances of court.

“I want to thank these people because they did their best to estimate the truth and they involved the case without any financial reimbursement. When people avoided coming to funeral because of fear to certain people, involvement in the investigation of my father’s assassination was extremely generous step for us. The lawyers did everything to estimate the truth though it was impossible during Saakashvili’s governance. Here, I want to thank to attorney Gela Nikolaishvili who involved the investigation without any financial reimbursement as well.”

Daughter of Guram Sharadze joined the non-governmental organization that will be established in near future. The members of this organization will be family members of those people who were killed in the street during last 5 years. They will take part in the demonstration planned for March 15 in front of the Statue to Rustaveli. “Unfortunately, I will not be in Tbilisi to participate in the demonstration but “Society of Guram Sharadze” will actively take part in it,” said Rusudan Sharadze. Her reply to our question “Why was Guram Sharadze murdered?” was:

“I will ask you now, why Ilia Chavchavadze, Merab Kostava and Zviad Gamsakhurdia were murdered? The same was reason for the assassination of Guram Sharadze. He was killed by the government of Georgia. Of course I do not know who personally shot him but they have plenty of “death brigades” and could have selected one of them. It could not be difficult for them. Giorgi Barateli is not a murderer. In fact Sharadze was killed by two men. This government should be judged not only for Guram Sharadze’s murder but for the entire disaster they have caused for last 5 years. For example, the war in August when plenty of Georgian boys were killed and now we have so many IDPs and unhappy families. Georgian nation should gain their honor back in order to prevent all following governments from committing similar crimes.”


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