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Georgian President wants investigation into U.S. Diplomat's murder reopened

President Saakashvili told a National Security Council session on 22 January that he has asked the Prosecutor-General's office to reopen the investigation into the August 1993 shooting of U.S. diplomat Fred Woodruff, Caucasus Press reported. A Tbilisi court ruled two months ago that there was not enough evidence to reopen the investigation, and Saakashvili expressed approval of that court ruling.

A young Georgian serviceman confessed to the killing, for which he was sentenced in February 1994 to 15 years imprisonment, but later retracted his confession, saying it was extracted under torture. In 1996, a Russian newspaper quoted then Georgian State Security Minister Shota Kviraya as claiming that his predecessor in that post, Igor Giorgadze, set up the murder at Moscow's instigation.

(RFE/RL 24.i.05)

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