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Olympic judo champ ‘attends brother’s funeral with cops’ while ‘facing premeditated murder charges from shootout that killed him’

Olympic judo champ ‘attends brother’s funeral with cops’ while ‘facing premeditated murder charges from shootout that killed him’
An Olympic judo champion is said to have been allowed to attend his brother's funeral after being detained on charges of premeditated murder during a shootout that killed three people including his sibling, according to reports.

Athens 2004 Olympic Games gold medalist Zurab Zviadauri shot a man who earlier killed his brother after a verbal dispute escalated in the Georgian village of Tsinandali, an account by Sputnik Georgia has said.

The former MP for the Georgian Dream party, which won power in his homeland after being formed in 2012, was arrested following the incident in which three of the four wounded people involved died, the report added.

Zviadauri was reportedly arrested alongside another individual for negligent possession of a firearm leading to death, facing a charge of premeditated murder which carries a potential prison sentence of between seven and 15 years.

Sputnik named the man Zviadauri allegedly shot in what it described as a "bloody showdown" as Nika Kenchoshvili, who it said the prosecutor's office is claiming killed two people including the ex-athlete's brother.

The defense for Zviadauri, who is said to have used the right to remain silent, reportedly insists that Zviadauri was acting in an attempt to "save his brother and loved ones."

Zviadauri is believed to be awaiting a decision from the Telavskiy District Court and is said to have been allowed to attend his brother's funeral, accompanied by prison guards.

The outlet says that weightlifting world record holder Lasha Talakhadze, the 2016 and 2020 Olympic gold medalist, has vouched for Zviadauri as the 40-year-old seeks bail for $16,000.

Current Olympic, world and European champion Lasha Bekauri is also said to have backed Zviadauri, as well as two other judokas and politician Zakaria Kutsnashvili.

Among a medal-strewn career, Zviadauri won silver three times at the European Championships before his final major international competition in 2006.

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