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Daughter Alleges Politics Behind Ex-MP's Murder
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 5 Jul.'07 / 17:11

Former lawmaker Guram Sharadze was killed for political reasons, his daughter, Rusudan Sharadze, claimed on July 5.

Sharadze, 67, was shot three times in downtown Tbilisi on May 20. He was a nationalist politician and MP until 2003, but had been out of politics since then.

Speaking at a news conference, Rusudan Sharadze alleged her father had been murdered in order to silence a vocal and a long-time critic of the expected repatriation of Meskhetians. The group was deported en masse from Georgia in 1944 by Josef Stalin.

A draft law, envisaging the start of the repatriation process next year, was submitted to Parliament for consideration in mid-June. It has since been endorsed with its first and second hearings.

Rusudan Sharadze also claimed that Giorgi Barateli, the chief murder suspect, was innocent.

Barateli, 29, a friend of the Sharadze family, was arrested by police close to the scene of the crime, almost immediately after the killing. He is currently in custody, awaiting trial.

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