The Tbilisi City Court sentenced to pretrial detention a terrorism suspect detained in the counter-terrorism operation in Tbilisi on November 21-22.
The court hearing was closed upon the prosecution’s request, which was upheld by the defense side as well, and the identity of the detained has not been revealed.
The prosecutor’s office said in its statement before the court hearing that the terrorism suspect (identified under the initials of S.D.) had been charged with unlawful purchase, storage, carrying, manufacturing, transportation, transfer, sale or use of firearms, ammunition, explosives or equipment for terrorist purposes (part one of article 3231), as well as with membership of a foreign terrorist organization (article 328).
The latter charge is punishable by imprisonment for any term of not more than 20 years or less than 10 years.
“The investigation has established that S.D., along with his three accomplices, moved in an apartment located at Beri Gabriel Salosi Street in Tbilisi, where he and his associates cached large amounts of explosive materials, ammunition, firearms and explosive devices purchased for terrorist purposes,” the statement reads.
The prosecutor’s office also said that S.D. was detained on November 21, and that the suspect had firearm and ammunition at the time of his arrest. “Following S.D.’s detention, three terrorists in the apartment located at Beri Gabriel Salosi Street in Tbilisi, refused to comply to the request of the law enforcement authorities – to open the door and surrender their weapons,” the office added.
“They threw hand grenades and opened intensive fire from their firearms to law enforcement officers, as a result of which five officers of the Ministry of the Internal Affairs and the Special Unit of the State Security Service suffered injuries of various severity, with one of them succumbing to the injury,” the statement reads.
Imeda Karkashadze, the suspect’s defense lawyer, told reporters that S.D. denies all charges. “He exercises his right to silence… he says he has no connection to a terrorist organization,” the lawyer said, adding that the court ruling would be challenged in the Court of Appeals.
Karkashadze refused to identify the suspect as well, citing the latter’s request, but confirmed that he was a Russian citizen.
Pretrial hearing on the case has been scheduled for January 16, 2018.
Investigation into the case is underway under part 3 of article 323 (an act of terrorism committed jointly by more than one person that results in death or other grave consequences); part one of article 3231 (unlawful purchase, storage, carrying, manufacturing, transportation, transfer, sale or use of firearms, ammunition, explosives or equipment for terrorist purposes) and article 328 (joining a foreign terrorist organization or a terrorist organization controlled by a foreign state or supporting this organization in terrorist activities) of the Criminal Code of Georgia.