TBILISI, Georgia — Investigators said Friday that they have ruled out any political motive in the killing of a CIA agent.
Fred Woodruff, 45, was shot to death on Sunday near Tbilisi, the Georgian capital. He had worked in Georgia on three occasions and was officially described as a regional affairs officer in the political section of the U.S. Embassy here.
U.S. newspapers have said that Woodruff was in charge of secretly training security personnel for Georgian leader Eduard A. Shevardnadze. On Tuesday, CIA Director R. James Woolsey flew to Georgia to bring Woodruff's body home.
U.S. Ambassador Kent Brown dismissed speculation that the killing was premeditated. "We very much expect the investigation to show this was not at all aimed at Americans or foreigners," he told a news conference.
Earlier this week, Georgian authorities said three people had been picked up for questioning. But investigators said Friday that none of them appeared to be responsible for the killing.
Woodruff was hit in the head by a single bullet while riding in a car driven by Shevardnadze's chief of personal security, Col. Eldar Gogoladze. Since the killing, Gogoladze has been suspended from his job.
Also Friday, the United States formally upgraded its economic relations with Georgia, granting the former Soviet republic most-favored-nation trading status, Georgia's government press center said.
Ambassador Brown told a news conference that U.S. interest in Georgia is high and that the only obstacle to increased investment is concern over security.