Russia’s powerful federal Investigative Committee said on December 13 that it possessed evidence “confirming” that Georgian MP Givi Targamadze was conspiring with Russian opposition activists in plotting riots in Moscow.
Givi Targamadze is a lawmaker from President Saakashvili’s United National Movement (UNM) party. He chaired the parliamentary committee for defense and security in the previous Parliament.
A spokesman for Russia’s federal Investigative Committee, Vladimir Markin, said that investigators “possess materials confirming that Givi Targamadze was not only financing the Russian opposition, but also had concrete role in organizing mass disorders” on Moscow’s Bolotnaya Square in May, 2012.
“In this connection, the Investigative Committee has already prepared a request for legal assistance, which will be sent to relevant Georgian authorities via the Russian General Prosecutor’s Office,” Markin said.
Russian news website Lifenews.ru released audio recording of what it said was a conversation between MP Targamadze and two Russian opposition activists Leonid Razvozzhayev and Konstantin Lebedev, an aide to opposition Left Front movement leader Sergei Udaltsov, who purportedly were discussing organizing protest rallies in Moscow. Both Razvozzhayev and Lebedev are now in pretrial detention facing charges over plotting to organize mass riots.
The Russian Investigative Committee said that these materials were among the evidence it obtained in the process of the investigation; it, however, denied leaking them to the press.
In October the Russian federal Investigative Committee launched criminal proceedings against Sergei Udaltsov, a leader of protests against President Putin, and several other opposition activists.
Udaltsov was accused of plotting to organize mass riots with the help of “foreign citizens” – allegations stemming from a television documentary, which was aired by NTV, the TV channel owned by the Russian state-controlled monopoly Gazprom.
The documentary, Anatomy of a Protest – 2, includes what seems to be a secretly recorded video footage apparently showing Georgian MP Givi Targamadze meeting with some of the Russian protest leaders, allegedly also including Udaltsov; the documentary claimed that participants of the meeting were plotting large-scale disturbances in Russia with the goal to topple President Putin.
According to the Russian Investigative Committee that meeting took place in the Belarusian capital of Minsk in June, 2012.
Targamadze denied any involvement calling it “Putin’s fabricated propaganda”. Udaltsov has also denied that MP Targamadze was involved in organizing protests in Moscow.