Former Georgian National Guard commander arrested

Via Civil.ge:

Former Commander of National Guard Arrested

Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 5 May.’09 / 15:32

Koba Kobaladze, who served as commander of the national guard till February, 2004, was arrested on May 5.

Earlier on May 5 the Georgian Interior Ministry said that it had arrested Gia Gvaladze, who was commander of the Defense Ministry’s special task force in 1990s, in connection with plotting of the mutiny in the armed forces.

The Interior Ministry has released a video footage, recorded apparently with a body-worn covert camera and showing a man, purportedly Gia Gvaladze, talking to several persons – one whose face was blurred in order not to identify him and another one to whom the body-worn camera was attached.

When speaking about the planned mutiny Gvaladze mentions names of former senior military and security officials, including of Davit Tevzadze, a former defense minister; Jemal Gakhokidze, a former security minister; Koba Kobaladze, a former commander of national guard and Gia Karkarashvili, a commander of the Georgian army during the Abkhaz war in early 90s. Karkarashvili is now affiliated with Irakli Alasania’s political team, part of opposition Alliance for Georgia. Gvaladze says that these people would be supporting the planned mutiny.

He also says in the footage that murder of some senior officials and President Saakashvili’s close allies were also planned, including Giga Bokeria, deputy foreign minister; Vano Merabishvili, the interior minister and Gigi Ugulava, the Tbilisi mayor. The man also says in the footage that 5,000-strong Russian troops would move in and take positions at key east-west highway close to Tbilisi.

Koba Kobaladze told Rustavi 2 TV, shortly before he was arrested on May 5, that he had nothing to do with the mutiny plot.

Davit Tevzadze, former defense minister, said allegations about his involvement in the mutiny plot “is absurd.”

“It is impossible to even comment on these myths created by ill people,” Gia Karkarashvili said.

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