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Mother demands justice for teen’s death in crash

February 10, 1997

WASHINGTON (AP) _ The mother of a 16-year-old girl killed in a car crash involving a Georgian diplomat made a surprise visit to the Georgian Embassy on Monday to demand justice.

``I want to feel that I am dealing with honest people,″ Viviane Wagner, a native of Brazil, said in Portuguese. ``We will see.″

Ambassador Tedo Japaridze, who met with Wagner for a half-hour, assured her that Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze was personally watching the case.

``The situation is very close to his heart and he is taking it very seriously,″ Japaridze said of the Georgian leader, adding, ``I can assure you there will be no diplomatic maneuvering.″

Last month, Shevardnadze ordered Gueorgui Makharadze, the embassy’s No. 2 diplomat, to remain in the United States until the investigation is complete into the Jan. 3 accident that killed Joviane Waltrick. And he said he was prepared to lift diplomatic immunity to allow Makharadze to stand trial if charges are brought. But he did not immediately waive such protection.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office, still investigating, hasn’t filed charges.

Police said Makharadze, 35, had been drinking and speeding in downtown Washington when his car hit another vehicle, which landed on top of a car in which Waltrick, of Kensington, Md., was a passenger.

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