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Former military officer confesses to planting bomb at TV station

Salome Modebadze
Friday, February 25
Sappers of Special Operations Divison of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) deactivated explosive devices on the territory of Imedi TV late at night on February 23. Gogita Arkania, the former military officer and the main perpetrator of the much-talked of terrorist acts carried out on the Georgian territory from September 2010, admitted his crime to MIA. Arkania, arrested in December, 2010 said he had placed the explosive devices on the territory of Imedi TV in October.

According to the information released by MIA, all the three explosive devices had been found outside the premises of the TV station. One of the bombs was found at the parking lot while the two others were 10-15 meters away from the central building of Imedi TV. Lubliana Street was closed and strictly controlled by police until the morning. Imedi TV staff entered the station from the alternative entrance and didn’t stop broadcasting despite the tension. The station ran an unscheduled, special news bulletin late on Wednesday night showing its headquarters and surrounding area sealed off by the police. They also shared the footage showing how the sappers and detectives found and deactivated the devices.

In his detailed testimony to MIA, the main perpetrator Gogita Arkania described the full scenario of the crime. He even showed the exact places where he had thrown the three activated devices but they failed to explode. The explosive devices included cans and boxes filled with explosive substances. Analysts are studying the issue and more information will soon become known to the public. As Arkania told the police, the devices had been installed under the instructions of Russian Colonel Evgeni Borisov leading the Russian occupation army and Murman Tskhadaia.

Shota Utiashvili, Head of Information and Analytical Department of MIA said the police obtained information about the explosive devices from a group of suspects charged with carrying out a series of explosions. These explosions were supposed to have been part of “terrorist acts organized by Russian intelligence forces”.

In his video testimony given to MIA in December, 2010 Gogita Arkania retold the police how his friend Merab Kolbaia, nicknamed Kochoia, organized a meeting with the Russian Colonel where Arkania was ordered to carry out a series of terrorist attacks or else his family members would be harmed. There were no casualties in the previous five blasts but one explosion near the Labor Party headquarter killed a woman.

Analyst Irakli Sesiashvili shared the controversies around the issue to The Messenger. “There are lots of questions waiting for relevant answers from the detectives. Everything will become clear after the police groups prepare their summary,” the analyst said wondering why the devices put in October didn’t explode in time, why the security and surveillance systems of Imedi TV failed in discovering the bombs, etc. Doubting the political motives of those responsible for the crimes, Sesiashvili stressed the necessity for considering further risks. “Russia would remain in the top list of “suspects” but there definitely could be some other groups aiming to destabilize our country,” the analyst stated.