For the time being, the new witness shuns disclosing his name; for this reason, with regard to new circumstances about shooting down of public figure Guram Sharadze in the street several years ago, we spoke with his daughter Rusudan Sharadze.
R.S. – The new witness is a former policeman who worked at Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti regional police and had business relations with Megis Kardava, Kokhta Kodua and now-detained Tengiz Gunava. Some time before my father’s assassination Megis Kardava assigned the policeman who now is the chief witness, to organize killing and bring two special squad soldiers from Samegrelo. In the capital they would be instructed by an Interior Ministry high official Giorgi Dgebuadze a.k.a. ‘Mastera’. The weapon of killing was given to the witness by Deputy Chief of Police of Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti region Kokhta Kodua in person. The witness convinced the customer that he’d fulfill the order but actually did everything to avoid the assassination.
I’m amazed how he managed to escape these butchers. According to him, they began to exert pressure on him and gave other assignments. Because of not fulfilling those assignments either, Tengiz Gunava, who at that time was head of Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti Police Department, beat him to death. Gunava together with Megis Kardava and others organized my father’s assassination.
Q. – Are those persons who took part in organization of Sharadze’s assassination still in Samegrelo police?
A. – More than one still hold high posts in Samegrelo police. I don’t want yet to name them; maybe they’ll say whatever they know. If they don’t, then I’ll name them. Who participated in planning of my father’s assassination is known to present head of Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti police too.
Q. – What was the basis for killing your father?
A. – My father was killed on Saakashvili’s order. In prison Data Akhalaia confessed to Gocha Chikhladze, Okruashvili’s driver that he was the man who personally planned and carried out Guram Sharadze’s assassination.
Saakashvili had plenty of reasons for killing Sharadze. It’s the issue of resettlement of Turk Meskhetians opposed by my father; alienation of Le Ville estate the authorities were planning, as well as personal hatred.
Q. – Information was spread that Sharadze had some relations with Russian Special Forces.
A. – If anybody dealt with Russian Special Forces, it was Saakashvili.
Q. – You often mention ‘Aldagi’ tape. What’s interesting for you in it?
A. – Original version of ‘Aldagi’ tape must by all means be somewhere, we possess only a damaged one. But even this is sufficient to establish that Barateli was not the assassin. There were two of them, much taller than Barateli. Whatever stuff was discovered by Interior Ministry in Samegrelo or the Ministry’s depository mustn’t be destroyed. ‘Aldagi’ original that will unveil much mystery had presumably been kept in these depositories.
Mamuka Nozadze, Giorgi Barateli’s lawyer: -It’s good that a witness turned up but I haven’t received well-based answers to many questions. Maybe someone wants to confuse the investigation? Whatever the witness says is convincing but why does he hide other witnesses’ names?
Q. – What is the Prosecutor’s Office reaction?
A. – Prosecutor’s Office isn’t actively involved to reveal this case. The witness says that he went to Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti Prosecutor’s Office for several times and requested to be interrogated. He was ignored until his family approached high officials in the capital. Do we still deal with selective justice?
Interview by Uta Bitsadze on 25 July