Investgation On-Going in Murder-Suicide Case

Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti Prosecutor Vakhtang Kiria was found dead on Kavtaradze Street in Tbilisi late Saturday evening. The Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia (MIA) officially confirmed Bidzina Kuchava, founder of Voice of Georgia TV and Radio, a suspect in the homicide. The MIA later announced Kuchava had committed suicide after the crime.

Prosecutor in Chief Irakli Shotadze and Interior Minister Giorgi Mgebrishvili went to the scene immediately, where experts and investigators then worked all night.

The MIA announced that the flat where Kiria’s body was found had been rented by Kuchava. According to the investigation, Kiria’s body showed signs that the murderer had tried to mutilate it. His body was transferred to the National Forensic Bureau for further evaluation.

Eladar Kiria, brother of Vakhtang Kiria, made no comment other than that he was waiting for the results of the investigation.

The MIA stated that Vakhtang Kiria’s homicide does not seem to be linked to the victim’s official activities.

The family of the suspect have questions about the investigation process and family member Giorgi Jikia told journalists that Kuchava’s body showed signs of injury and that the family is demanding the involvement of a private expert in the investigation of the case as a result.

According to lawyer Natia Korkotadze, Bidzina Kuchava, the alleged murderer, had received an African visa.

Korkotadze claims Kuchava’s planned visit to Africa was of a business purpose, pointing to the many circumstances that clarify he had not killed himself and was in fact murdered. She highlighted that he was contacted by the same people who called Prosecutor Kiria prior to death. She added that Kuchava left home on January 16th, while Kiria - on January 13th.

The lawyer went on to say that Kuchava’s family plans to address the Prosecutor’s office after Kuchava’s burial and demand his tarnished image be restored.

Kuchava’s family, the lawyer said, plans to sue Deputy Interior Minister Archil Talakvadze, who declared that Bidzina Kuchava hanged the body of Vakhtang Kiria and planned to dismember it.

Meanwhile, some relatives of businessman Gocha Maghaldadze, who was murdered back in 2007 in a rented flat in Tbilisi, are now talking about the guilt of Bidzina Kuchava in the case.

Reportedly, Kuchava might have ties with other murders, too. Maghaldadze’s friend Mamuka Gugeshashvili told Information Agency InterPressNews that Bidzina Kuchava was behind the Maghaldadze murder, and that Kuchava was in debt to Maghaldadze, who at that time owned Casino Fortuna.

Maghaldadze’s friend claims he is suspicious of three persons and one of them is Bidzina Kuchava. He added that Kuchava was questioned with regard to the Maghaldadze case several times.

The criminal case has been of a highly complicated nature and is in need of a comprehensive investigation.

A number legal experts and politicians from the opposition connect the case to the increased criminal situation in the country, for which they accuse the government of Georgia. They claim a holistic approach should be incorporated by the government to eliminate the situation or minimize it, as the criminal situation has considerably augmented during the last three years.

Zviad Adzinbaia

21 January 2016 21:58