Two persons were arrested in connection with an explosion in coal mine in Tkibuli, western Georgia, which killed one miner and badly injured four others on January 22.
Edem Sturua and Giorgi Devdariani were, as prosecutors say, in charge of safety norms.
The case is investigated under article 240 of the criminal code, which deals with the cases of breach of safety rule when performing mining. “The investigation is underway and in case of revealing of other persons responsible for the tragedy, similar measures will be undertaken with respect to them,” a representative of the prosecutor’s office said on January 26.
Coal mine in Tkibuli in western region of Imereti is operated by Saknakhshiri, a daughter company of Georgian Industrial Group, a conglomerate founded by lawmaker from the ruling party, Davit Bezhuashvili - a brother of Gela Bezhuashvili, chief of the Georgian intelligence service.
A total of eight miners died as a result of two separate explosions in the same mine in March and August of 2010.
President Saakashvili accused on January 22 owners of coal mine in Tkibuli of neglecting safety norms and of covering up real reasons behind similar incidents last year.
Saakashvili said that during the previous incident all the blame was put on the miners, though the investigation carried out by the prosecutor’s office revealed criminal wrongdoing by the coal mine’s top management.
“I regret much that the criminal case [launched by the prosecutor’s office] has not been taken to its logical end yet,” Saakashvili said that added that if those responsible for previous explosions were punished, the January 22 incident could have been avoided.