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Georgia Says Russian Officers Ordered Murder of MIA Official
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 22 Mar.'11 / 16:17

Georgian Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) said on March 22, that last year’s murder of head of MIA’s emergency situations service in Adjara Autonomous Republic, Dimitri Kordzadze, was ordered by Russian military intelligence, GRU, operatives based in breakaway Abkhazia.

Dimitri Kordzadze, who in 2004-2007 led one of the divisions of MIA’s special task unit in Zugdidi, town at the Abkhaz administrative border, was killed on May 5, 2010 in Batumi when the local emergency service’s Toyota Hilux pickup, which he was driving, was blown up.

“We possess serious evidence that the Russian special services are behind this case… This case resembles very much the case of series of terrorist acts which we have resolved in December,” Vano Merabishvili, the Georgian interior minister, said on March 22, referring to last year’s series of explosions in Tbilisi, which Georgia said was also ordered by the Abkhaz-based Russian military intelligence officers.

The Interior Ministry said in a written statement on March 22, that two operatives from the Russian military intelligence, GRU, commissioned Kordzadze’s murder to two Georgian citizens back in December, 2009 and paid them total of USD 52,000. The ministry said that the Russian officers also provided them with an explosive device, which was placed in Kordzadze’s vehicle.

The statement does not provide information about what the possible motive behind the murder was.

The police identified two Georgian citizens, who allegedly committed the crime, as Temur Butbaia and Otar Rogava. The later, according to the police, committed suicide in his prison cell in early March.

The police said that the two men’s two other accomplices were also arrested and one was at large, wanted by the police.

Georgian Interior Minister, Vano Merabishvili, said that like in the case involving series of terrorist acts, Georgia was again offering Russia to cooperate and Tbilisi was ready to provide all the evidence into Kordzadze’s murder case to all the interested parties.

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