The FBI's preliminary investigation findings into Buta Robakidzeís murder and the arrest of two individuals for an attempted terrorist attack were the topics Chief Prosecutor Archil Kbilashvili discussed with journalists at a news conference on June 13th. Kbilashvili emphasized that it is still unclear whether the men arrested on June 13th are linked with the Taliban related video materials uploaded on YouTube in the last week. Concerning the Robakidze case Kbilashvili stressed that the video materials released by accused individuals in the case are in fact a montage.
Chief Prosecutor discusses terrorism and the Buta Robakidze case
By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Friday, June 14
The Ministry of Internal Affairs has foiled an attempted act of terrorism in the preparation stage. In cooperation with the Antiterrorism Center as well as different operative departments of the Ministry and the Chief Prosecutorís office two foreign citizens were arrested early on June 13th in Tbilisi. The two individuals have been identified as Mikail Kadiev and Rizvan Omarov, both foreign nationals. During the search law enforcement agents seized explosive material in large quantities as well as electro detonators. MIA officers also discovered firearms, ammunition and forged ID documents.
At this stage of the investigation all that is known is that in 2011 Kadiev began hiding in Georgia. Kadiev is wanted by Interpol. He did occasionally leave the country.
"Currently intensive investigative and operative-searching activities are being held inside the country with the cooperation of international antiterrorism agencies in order to expose and neutralize those who assisted and supported the criminal alliance of the above mentioned persons. Mikail Kadievís accomplice, who assisted him to commit a crime on the territory of another country, was detained by one European law enforcement agency in 2012." the MIA statement reads.
"We are participating in the investigation process. It is not still clear whether the individuals are linked with the video uploaded onto You Tube in the name of the Taliban. A detailed statement concerning this issue will be made by the Ministry of Interior Affairs.Ē Kbilashvili stated.
According to Caucasian analyst Mamuka Areshidze, Kadiev was linked with the well-known Lapankuri special operation and the weapons that were found in their apartment might have been given to them by Georgian Special Forces. On August 29, 2012 the Georgian Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) stated that it was carrying out an anti-terrorist operation against an armed group close to Lapankuri. Eleven armed individuals and three Georgian Special Service personnel were killed in a clash near the Russian-Georgian border. Certain analysts and the Georgian Public Defender claim that the Chechens and others named as terrorists had been previously armed by the Georgian government.
Concerning the video materials released by former MIA officials Guram Donadze and Irakli Pirtskhalava, Kbilashvili stated that the video should not be taken as evidence as it includes video montage.
Donadze claims that the video is not a montage and added that the FBI's findings support his view. Donadze claims that according to the FBI certain shortcomings in the video were created by the camera man and are not montage.
According to an official document published on the web-page of the Prosecutorís Office "An examination of the Q1 thumb drive revealed that it consists of a 2.12 GB.AVI file with playback duration of ten minutes. The video is in the PAL format. The Q1 file is not original and contains over twenty-five edits." the document reads, adding that the edits could be real-time (camera edits) and/or performed later, after the original recording was made (studio edits). There are also locations where the audio drops out. The same document states that a final report into the matter will be forthcoming.
Robakidze was shot dead by a patrol police officer in November 2004. According to official reports Robakidze and his friends were armed and opposed police. The case is currently being reinvestigated. Robakidze's relatives and lawyers claim that the police committed the crime and then tried to portray Robakidze and his friends as being armed. The video released by Pirtskhalava shows Robakidze and his friends as armed. The video was sent to the FBI for further investigation.