Ex-deputy of the Georgian Parliament shot dead in Tbilisi

Georgia Materials 21 May 2007 13:41 (UTC +04:00)

( Civil Georgia ) - Former lawmaker Guram Sharadze was shot dead in downtown Tbilisi. Police said a suspect was arrested shortly afterwards on a nearby street.

Reports said that the suspect, Giorgi Barateli, 29, who was slightly injured during the arrest, was a friend of Sharadze's son.

There are no reports about possible motives behind the murder.

Sharadze's son-in-law, however, told reporters that he couldn't believe "personal motives" were behind the murder, because Sharadze had been a good friend and patron of Barateli for many years.

Sharadze, 67, who was shot three times, was a nationalist politician and a lawmaker until 2000.

But he had been out of politics since 2003 when he failed to become a member of Parliament after running on ex-President Shevardnadze's party ticket.

The last time Sharadze captured media attention was in 2006, when he was jailed for 15 days for public disorder and insulting the rector of Tbilisi State University.

He was also jailed for 15 days in 2004 for hooliganism after he tore down posters of artist Rafal Olbinski from the walls at an exhibition at the Georgian National Library, labeling them as "pornographic" which were against "moral principles."