Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Georgian tycoon's death called 'suspicious'

Georgian billionaire Badri Patarkatsishvili was found dead today in his home in the English countryside less than three months after funding a massive opposition rally in Georgia. British officials are examining the cause of his death.

Patarkatsishvili supported days of public protests against Georgian president Mikhail Saakashvili, forcing him to call for early elections. Patarkatsishvili then ran as an opposition candidate in elections that the opposition claims were rigged (international observers noted government interference in the December election, but did not seek to overturn the result). After losing Patarkatsishvili moved to England. He claimed to have an audiotape of Georgian officials asking a Chechen warlord to assassinate him, and told colleagues he feared he would soon be killed.

Of course some outlets put a predictable spin on the story, like this headline from the Huffington Post: "Russian Billionaire (And Putin Enemy) Found Dead". In addition to misidentifying Patarkatsishvili as Russian rather than Georgian, the Huff Post also only printed the first few paragraphs of a London Daily Mail story, cutting out all references to Georgia. Stick to US politics Arianna…
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