Seeking Closure?


The Prosecutor’s Office stopped the investigation of the Erosi Kitsmarishvili case. “The Former Ambassador and founder of TV company Rustavi 2 committed suicide because of debts, and so the case is closed,” – it says in the uploaded statement on the Prosecutor’s website. Kitsmarishvili had one of the most important roles in political life in the past 20 years, but his case ended with such a trivial finale.

Erosi Kitsmarishvili’s corpse, with a shot to the head, was found in the garage of his house, at the wheel of his own car on July 15, 2014. The Prosecutor’s Office brought the case with the clause of “pushed to suicide”, and a series of misunderstandings began thereafter. The family members, lawyers, and criminal experts objected to the Prosecutor’s decision from the very beginning, but nothing ever came of this protest. The Prosecutor’s decision proved unbreakable. Not “murdered” but “pushed to suicide,” which meant that the prosecution did not see anything suspicious in Kitsmarishvili’s death from the beginning, and only thought to investigate what had led the man to kill himself.

It seemed that the prosecution knew precisely that Kitsmarishvili was not dead by someone else’s hand and there was left only to investigate the cause of the suicide. Throughout two years the reason was revealed – the bank and debts of individuals, a total of USD 312,000 and 120,000 GEL.

At first glance, it’s a really compelling argument for that so-called suicide, a lot of people kill themselves because of debts and for far less than this particular debt, but it really doesn’t serve as an argument in Erosi Kitsmarishvili’s case and the prosecution clearly made a mistake.

People who knew Kitsmarishvili said that he didn’t commit suicide because of debtors, especially for some USD 350,000. This validity of this view was further strengthened after TV company Rustavi 2 disclosed Kitsmarishvili’s real estate registry extracts, the market value of which was much higher than USD 350,000.

Turns out that the Prosecutor’s conclusion was wrong and closing the case was a crime. Not only did the family members not believe the version of the Prosecutor but his opponents, too. Even ex-Parliament speaker and leader of the Party of Democratic Georgia, Nino Burjanadze, thinks that the Prosecutor’s Office invented the debt story to cover up their incompetence. “I do not believe the prosecution, they could not investigate the case of Vano Merabishvili, where everything was clear, so how could they investigate this one? Of course, they couldn’t and because of that they thought up the story of the debt,” Burjanadze told reporters.

It’s hard to say whether the ex-speaker drew a parallel between Kitsmarishvili and Merabishvili’s cases deliberately, but it should be noted that the parallel is really quite correct and, what’s more, timely.

The closure of Kitsmarishvili’s case suspiciously coincided with the Strasbourg verdict about Merabishvili. So, naturally, the question arises, why did they decide just now, in the middle of the election campaign, to close the Kitsmarishvili case and openly state that Erosi Kitsmarishvili was not murdered and had committed suicide. Why now?

At first glance seems like there is no connection between the Strasbourg verdict about the Merabishvili case and the closure of Kitsmarishvili’s case. In fact, the connection is obvious: when the Prosecutor’s Office delayed the high-profile cases over the years, neither saying “Yes” or “No”, neither “Open the case” nor “Close the case”, or even worse, inhibited the process because of political reasons, it damaged the government, especially ahead of the elections. The conclusion of Strasbourg is fatal in any case: do they have political motive, or are they simply incompetent and unprofessional?

It’s strange, when the Prosecutor’s Office couldn’t investigate the Prime Minister’s case over 11 years and finally can’t even prove whether it was an accident or he was murdered.

We eagerly await news from Prosecutor on the Zurab Zhvania case and that of other endless cases as well.

Zaza Jgharkava

30 June 2016 21:40