Source: the Georgian President’s Administration
What follows is a transcript of part of an alleged conversation between Badri Patarkatsishvili and an Interior Ministry official, Irakli Kodua, which was taped covertly during a meeting in Patarkatsishvili’s mansion in Surrey, Britain, on December 23. The Georgian authorities have nor released the full version of the conversation. Patarkatsishvili has confirmed meeting Kodua and offering him USD 100 million in exchange for defecting from the authorities. He denied, however, that the bribe was in connection to an alleged coup plot and claimed instead that his intention was to uncover what he said were official plans to rig the election.
Patarkatsishvili: I don’t want to call things their names now. If you’d like, we can go outside, I’d like you to feel comfortable.
Kodua: No problem.
P: Here, for instance, we are protected against everything… In this circumstances, I don’t have right to do something [improperly]. Sorry that you had been searched before you entered here. Simply, I can’t let myself to make a mistake. That’s why everything’s maximally “cleaned” here.
As soon as Misha comes out and says, he has won [the elections], the active electorate will attack Misha. The higher percentage Misha claims he got, the higher will be the level of aggression. Of course, here is another moment too: an internal rift (inside the ruling elite) should begin. And the appearance of the rift is one of the crucial components of this construction. This is a simple as 2 and 2 equals 4. When this internal rift begins, [they] are finished absolutely. I mean the internal rift in the group. Today [Mathew] Bryza is the only who helps Misha and than Daniel Fried as the superior of Bryza. They help him. He has no one to protect him. Above them, he has no other protector. Why do they help him? This is their project. And that’s why they don’t want to loose together with Misha. This is the only [reason]. He has no other protectors. And that’s why they’ll turn their back to Misha, they would turn their back to Misha at once, as for them the important issue is not Misha… they don’t care about Misha.
K: Say, elections end on5th [January] and on 6th they declare Misha as the winner, then what should we do?
P: Nothing, I think that the people will decide there, won’t they? They weren’t clever enough, they gathered 150000 people in the streets, and then let them go. They are stupid aren’t they?
Everything could have been finished on the same day. Those people didn’t come out to the streets to see Levana [Gachechiladze] and Shaliko [Natelashvili], those people didn’t come out for that, they did come to do the concrete job. That’s it.
K: To tell the truth [for Saakashvili], “Grechikha” [Gachechiladze] and others are not the competitors.
P: It’s clear, but there is the second moment here.
P: there is the second moment here. You don’t have to explain this. All these will be settled, all these… all these are the matter of time only and to my mind all these will be settled in this week.
Out of [opposition] there will be one candidate left, of course. Of course, this will be the case, without question. So when this happens… people get prepared today. The situation is different. People get prepared today. And today you can’t even buy weapon in Tbilisi, because everybody gets prepared, everybody understands that something happens. As to the MVD (Ministry of Internal Affairs), you are here and I think there are concrete means for…
K: I don’t know whether you are aware of what we talked with [MP] Valery [Gelbakhiani, Patarkatsishvili allly]… I don’t know whether he told you or not.
P: He told me that there is a serious offer and that the meeting is necessary and here I am. So, tell me what kind of resources you have in order to get some understanding of your capabilities.
K: 7 000 [persons] out of 10 000 are mine.
P: How many serve at MIA? How many battalions are there and so on?
K: So, there are two special purpose units, one Shavnabada, one mine. There are two special purpose units.
P: So, you control both of them. There are only two.
K: There are also conscripts, nearly 1000.
P: I’m the lovely grandpa in Georgia, they’d better ask my background in Russia, where they know me differently, I haven’t made a shot yet. I’m absolutely ready to negotiate. So, if we negotiate, I fulfill everything what I say, exactly what we negotiate. If something requires further changes, we will sit down and settle things together. I’m offering the simple thing.
P: If you could tell me what you can do to make your mission easier. I am ready to do everything to what you want.
K: Badri, I’ll tell you directly…
P: Absolutely, please…
K: He himself tolled me that he was here and talked with you. I tell you what Valery tolled me… that I should visit you and talk about everything. The talk was about… that this may happen on 6th, that you may loose elections… this may happen.
P: I see.
K: That the only force is MIA. Well actually MIA is the force, isn’t it? They are afraid of it. He told me that I must take the power. I have necessary recourses for that, but there is one “IF”- the minister. I discussed this issue with Valery. He told me that I should go to the minister and detain him… he told me so.
P: He told me that as well.
K: This may entail certain consequences, I told this to Valery, because the minister will have at least 25 men on that day, from 20 to 25 bodyguards, to go and grab him just like that… is very difficult, in fact something may happen there.
P: Will this be a problem?
K: Yes, it will be a problem since a skirmish may occur, I can’t say that the Minister will stay unharmed. He may get a shot in a leg or something, he won’t die, I guarantee that, but 7-8 of his bodyguards won’t beck up, that’s for sure. When I enter the room something will happen there, someone may die. I’m just saying how things will be, I have told Valery bout this and he said that this is their responsibility.
P: We are not children; I fully understand what we are talking about. This is the only way, we must show him power, and there is no other way. When he has got 10 or 20 people and you go with 200 people against him, everything will be over, they are not that crazy, the Minister himself will tell them “guys stop”.
K: Those guys are a bit different.
P: You must go to Vano, and talk to him, you must tell him that this is the situation and that he must summon all peace people and they must give up arms.
K: And if he refuses?
P: If he refuses, you will arrest him. That’s all, everything is over. He refuses, you arrest him.
K: Let me tell you, h will happen there in my opinion, When I go there and sagest him that, he will refuse, then something will happen there in his room, I’m sure about that, I know those guys.
P: Vano’s people?
K: Yes, I know his bodyguards.
P: They won’t surrender.
K: They won’t, this is for sure, those guys will die for the cause, we must figure out something else, there must be another way, and everything has a better solution.
P: Of course. Is it possible to put them to sleep or something?
K: To put them to sleep? Yes, there are means to do that, but they are not as effective as they can not knock a person out immediately, that happens only in the movies you know…
P: I understand that, of course… you can knock a person out immediately only if you make an injection to him, but you’ll have to reach to him to do that.
K: No, you cannot reach them…
P: That’s what I’m saying.
K: If you have ever been there at his office, you know you have to pass one room with four people, than another room with people and so on, if you go to the Ministry, you have to take at least 100-150 people or so, therefore you cannot go there dressed up in a suit, you have to enter there under cover.
P: Of, course.
K: If you go there like that everybody will ask: Kodua has come with so many people, what is happening? This is a great risk.
P: Of course… listen, I can lay down all this and I need, probably two or three days to figure out absolutely everything. What resources will we have to…?
K: Are there any means of communication?
P: That’s what I’m saying. Telephone and means like that are out of the question.
K: I have relations with Valery. I can see Valery so that he [Merabishvili] won’t learn about that.
P: Of course.
K: Therefore, Valery should know what to tell me.
P: One of the possibilities is that this will happen on 6th of January; another possibility is that everything may happen earlier. Will this somehow change the plans? Because if this happens earlier, the situation may be more favorable than on January 6th. Before 6th of January he will have only seven bodyguards and this makes the situation favorable to us, and after 5th of January, he will have them on high alert.
P: As for the form and the rest, I will go through everything and lay down a legitimate sequence of steps. Because what else do I want? I want to keep ourselves in a legal frame, because ultimately you should be a hero – a hero that did not give that terrible monster a chance to encroach upon the country. Everything will be decided reasoning from that. I will provide you by Thursday. Today is Sunday, I have meeting right now and by that time, I will be informed about the situation in the army and so forth, because everything has its own... This is just one segment and there are other segments, right? That’s why everything has to add up to a coherent plan. Hence, I will be ready to provide you with all the information by Thursday. This is one possibility. Another possibility is that if this information is revealed, you must know, I will never say that we had this plans. It’s better to say this right now.
P: And third, about the money. Valery told me that you want 100 millions. I think that’s a very big sum of money, but I assume that if we weigh it, it equals to the risk. We talk about US dollars.
P: Hence I’m ready to agree on this sum. Second, I’m ready to transfer some money as a prepayment to your account and this money will be available to you in case if we achieve that goal. I mean, it’ll be on your account but you’ll be able to use it when... We’ll find the way how to do it so that you’ll be absolutely satisfied. Afterwards, I’ll need some firms registered officially and I’ll also need signatures. Someone from your group must bring them to me in Israel. I’ll give you now the phone number of my guy whom he’ll call and tell a password which we’ll say now... (Inaudible) and your surname. Badri Kodua, right? First letter will be from Badri. It will be followed by the name from your surname – B then K...He’ll say this password and this will mean that they must meet to... This is the guy to whom Gyorgi was writing messages or calling, Anatoly.
K: Yes. And what’s his surname?
P: Motkin. And third, something I consider very important, whatever happens, it doesn’t matter it’ll be this way or that way, you’ll be guaranteed that your family will be completely taken care of. It doesn’t matter how everything will be finished... it doesn’t matter at all. You can be absolutely sure about this.
K: If people will vote... They are trying so much and doing their best to... people is crowd... (Inaudible).
P: I’ll tell you one simple thing about that. We must have one or two bags with the ballots. It doesn’t matter whether they’re real or false. We must have couple of bags with the ballots which you’ll show to the public and say “what can I do, I’m a son of this country and I can’t do this”. That’s it. The most sure and the easiest way. Therefore it doesn’t matter who votes for whom. I don’t care at all. After this, everything will be easy.
K: Should I be involved?
P: Sure. The whole world will see this. Afterwards, everything will be put aside. You must show the most important thing [to the public and the world] that they gave those [ballots] to you, so that the police throw them inside [the ballot-box]. Afterwards, you must become a hero; [show] that there was one guy who couldn’t do such a thing. Then it will be followed by positive comments by Giorgi [Targamadze] that “he” [Kodua] called me and notified that there were some problems...” All these will come afterwards... that there was a man who is the real son of this nation who couldn’t do such a thing anymore... and he got tired of all this. We’ll figure out everything well. I’ve got the people who’ll do it well. What means do you have to bring the money inside the country?
K: It’s a bit difficult... It’s possible through the border.
P: Do you have people who will carry them through the border?
K: It depends who will...
P: It doesn’t matter.
K: I can for example...
P: Not much is needed. There is the issue of salaries... I just don’t want you to have problems because of minor things...
K: It’s not a problem.
P: So, one, two or three millions won’t be a problem?
K: Armenia isn’t a problem. So, Turkey is a problem.
P: Turkey doesn’t suit me.
K: Poti is not a problem.
P: So, Poti is not a problem?
K: No, Poti isn’t if a ferry arrives.
P: What about airports?
K: You know, this is a huge amount of money to carry with in cash. To bring the money with the case will be difficult.
P: Yeah, it’s a big case.
K: there will be too many questions. I’ll bring them in but there will be the question: why? Why do you bring such case in this situation?
P: I see.
K: I’ll put the money in my car there. I’m responsible for. (inaudible) I’ll cross the border, but I can’t drive further.
P: I see.
K: I’ll cross the border, drive 5-10 km, he’ll be waiting for me, gives me it and I return.
P: Ok, ok.