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Thursday, April 14
Ex-Chief of Military Police Charged with ‘Ordering’ Murder of Renegade Georgian General in Moscow

The Georgian authorities confirmed on Tuesday that the former chief of the military police, Megis Kardava, was charged with ordering the assassination of a former Georgian army general, Roman Dumbadze, who was shot dead in Moscow in May 2012, less than four years after he was released in a swap from a Georgian prison, where he was serving a lengthy jail term for treason.

The Georgian State Security Service said that Kardava, who served as chief of the Georgian military police at the time when Dumbadze was killed, is accused of ordering the murder through a middleman.

Kardava is wanted by the Georgian authorities on multiple criminal charges; in a cases related to the torture of detainees, Kardava was found guilty and sentenced by the court in absentia in 2014 to nine years in prison.

Dumbadze was the commander of the Batumi-based military unit of the Georgian armed forces up until mid-April, 2004, when he refused to obey orders from the central government and pledged loyalty to the then-defiant leader of the Adjaran Autonomous Republic, Aslan Abashidze.

Dumbadze was arrested after Abashidze was ousted in May, 2004; he was found guilty on several charges – including treason - and sentenced to 17 years in prison.

A week after the August 2008 war, when Russian troops were still occupying parts of Georgia beyond the breakaway territories of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, Russian forces detained about two dozen Georgian servicemen in the port town of Poti. Some of them were released few days later, but 12 of them were freed on August 28, 2008 in a swap; in exchange the Georgian side released Dumbadze and handed him over to Russian forces. Dumbadze then lived in Moscow, where, according to the Russian media reports, he was granted Russian citizenship in 2010.

In 2014, the court in Moscow sentenced four natives of Georgia to jail terms after they were convicted in connection to the murder of Dumbadze. The Russian media was reporting at the time that according to the verdict, the contract killing of Dumbadze was arranged through a middleman who was from Georgia.

The Georgian State Security Service said on April 12 that the “middleman”, who was not identified, was arrested and convicted in Georgia.

It also said that the case against Kardava has been classified as “secret” and the details will not be made public.

The Georgian State Security Service made the announcement about filing criminal charges against Kardava in connection to Dumbadze’s murder after it was first reported by Kardava’s defense lawyer, Malkhaz Velijanashvili, who accused Georgian law enforcement agencies of “acting in Russia’s interests”.

Describing the charges against his client as “false”, Velijanashvili also said that the Georgian authorities wanted to “hide from the public” that they pressed criminal charges against Kardava in connection to this case.

“Megis Kardava is accused of ordering and organizing murder of Roman Dumbadze… Prosecutors say that the motive of the murder was that Dumbadze was a traitor. The case [against Kardava] is mostly built on information and evidence obtained from the Russian side. So it is easy to conclude that the prosecutor’s office is acting upon Russia’s interests and not Georgia’s interests, which is extremely alarming,” he said. (

Saakashvili blames sex tape scandal on Bidzina Ivanishvili

In a TV interview Tuesday, Mikheil Saakashvili blamed former PM Bidzina Ivanishvili of a series of sex tapes posted online with threats against politicians.

A fourth video was sent to a Georgian media outlet the same day as the former Georgian president spoke to Rustavi 2’s program Archevani.

As before, the video showed a politician engaging in intimate acts and seems to stem from an archive of compromising material amassed by the intelligence service during Saakashvili’s presidency.

In the Rustavi 2 interview, the former president joked about the video threats, calling it ‘pornocracy’, and blaming it on former Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili.

“Have you ever heard of anything like that when I was in power? Have anyone thought that their private life videos would be shown to the world? Have you ever heard of such a conversation during my so-called ruinous nine year rule? When I was in power the topic was opening a new university, new roads, new facilities, employing people. Now the topics are whether a new scandalous video has been posted. This is not how we should live,,” Saakashvili told the Georgian TV channel which is known for its sympathetic leanings toward him.

When Saakashvili’s United National Movement party lost power in 2012, the new government tried to destroy the ‘dirty archive’, but a deputy head of intelligence told parliament that the sex tape scandal indicates that someone managed to smuggle the material out of the country during the three weeks transition period between Saakashvili’s National Movement government and Georgian Dream. Levan Izoria said data they have been given by Youtube, Google and Facebook indicated that the sex tapes were uploaded from Ukraine, Lithuania and Sweden. The Prosecutor General’s Office later confirmed that the videos were not uploaded from Georgia.

The ex-president also criticized the Georgian Dream government for introducing universal health insurance.

“We left behind a prepared healthcare system and they introduced universal healthcare, for which they spent billions. Finally the result is that the country went into a deadlock and is ruled by a person who established pornocracy in Georgia,” Saakashvili said.

The former president claimed that the government has spent money which it inherited from his government instead of feeding people and building a future for the next generation.

He said during the election campaign in 2012 that his party asked people one question, whether they lived better then than they did in 2003. They unanimously said ‘yes’. Now Mikheil Saakashvili says that people have to think of 2012 and ask themselves whether they live better than they did prior to the last elections.

“I believe the answer is clear and they have to vote accordingly,” he said. (DF watch)