Reports: Chechen Refugee with Alleged Al-Qaeda Links Arrested
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 1 Jan.'06 / 19:06

Tbilisi-based human rights organization has demanded from the Georgian authorities to release Chechen refugee Mahomed Mahaev, who runs charity organization Imedi (Hope), from custody.

According to the Human Rights Information and Documentation Center (HRIDC) police arrested Mahomed Mahaev on December 27 and accused him and his charity organization of having links with the al-Qaeda network. He is also accused of forging papers and misappropriation of GEL 24,000 (USD 13,000).

Tbilisi City Court sentenced Mahomed Mahaev to three-month pre-trial custody on December 28.

According to the Chechen pro-rebel website Kavkaz Center the Imedi charity organization, which operates since 2003 to help Chechen refugees in Georgia’s Pankisi gorge, has been cooperating with German-based aid organization Muslim Helfen and UK-based Muslim Hands.

HRIDC said that the Georgian law enforcers have been investigating the case since July, 2005 and Mahomed Mahaev, who denies accusations, has been cooperating with the investigators throughout this period and there was no need of taking him into custody. The Georgian General Prosecutor’s Office has not yet commented on the case.

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