Georgia massage parlor shootings leave 8 dead; man in custody
The media claim that the killer was supposed to be a Georgian journalist Georgy Gabunia, who insulted Putin
The Georgian State Security Service (SGB) confirmed that a Russian citizen was detained in Tbilisi on June 12, (only his initials are given – V.B), suspected of preparing a contract murder.
According to the State Security Service, the special operation was carried out “as part of a criminal investigation into the preparation of a premeditated murder by order,” although V.B. arrested on charges of acquiring / storing and using forged documents.
Earlier, the Georgian media disseminated information about the detention in Tbilisi of a native of Ingushetia, 38-year-old Vasambeg Badrievich Bokov, who, allegedly on the instructions of the head of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov, planned the murder of Georgian journalist Georgy Gabunia.
In a special message dated June 15, the State Security Service does not confirm who the assassination attempt was being made on. At the same time, the State Security Service of Georgia calls on “to refrain from disseminating any information, specified or unspecified, so as not to interfere with the investigation and not to allow the dissemination of information that is important for the investigation and / or false information”.
At a special briefing on June 15, Nika Gvaramia, head of Mtavari Archi, where Georgy Gabunia works, said that Ukrainian law enforcement officers provided information about the killer to the Georgian authorities. The reason for the planned assassination, according to Gvaramia, was the broadcast by Georgy Gabunia a year ago, during which he cursed Russian President Vladimir Putin in Russian..
“The Georgian authorities learned from the Ukrainian law enforcement officers that he (VB) planned to liquidate Georgy Gabunia on the instructions of the Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov. We talked about this in due time, we remember his (Kadyrov’s) statements, we also received warnings from our Caucasian friends and not only from them, ”Gvaramia said..
It is appropriate to recall that a year ago, in response to insults against Putin, Ramzan Kadyrov called Georgy Gabunia “scum and scum”.
“There are millions of young people in the world who deeply respect Vladimir Putin. Gabunia must be hidden behind seven fences, because the very first person he meets can do with him what he deserves, “Kadyrov said at the time..
In July 2019, Georgy Gabunia, who was then working on the Georgian TV channel Rustavi-2, cursed Russian President Vladimir Putin on the air in Russian using foul language. Gabunia’s monologue was then condemned by the Georgian President, Prime Minister, Speaker of Parliament, Secretary General of the ruling party and the country’s Foreign Ministry, as well as the Georgian opposition and the Charter of Journalistic Ethics. The management of Rustavi-2 apologized for the journalist’s “form of expression” and suspended him from work for two months.
The Kremlin called Gabunia’s actions “a great shame”, arguing that the reason is the “unwillingness and unwillingness” of the Georgian authorities to “curb the extremist thugs from the very beginning.” At the same time, the Russian Foreign Ministry, in a special statement dated July 8, 2019, condemning “an unprecedented in its baseness trick with unacceptable attacks in obscene language against the Russian leadership”, positively responded to the reaction of the Georgian authorities.
At the same time, the State Duma deputies demanded that the Georgian authorities take measures against the journalist, including his extradition to the Russian Federation. However, the Russian president then rejected this initiative, saying that “there is a lot of honor against such people to initiate criminal proceedings.”.
“It was not an accident”
Himself George Gabunia in his commentary on the arrest of the killer, who, presumably, was preparing an attempt on his life, noted that he did not expect such a reaction to his monologue, i.e. comments from Putin, Kadyrov, discussion of his broadcast in the State Duma, etc..
“But when they said all this, I knew it was not an accident. We have specific examples of people being killed because Putin does not like them. I knew I had to be careful. My security has been strengthened. The guards noticed that they were following me, “Gabunia said..
At the same time, the journalist said that representatives of official structures had not contacted him so far. At the same time, he condemned the “medieval methods” that Russian officials can use against persons they dislike..
“Maybe I made a mistake, did something terrible. But the neighboring state is sending an assassin to eliminate me. How can you even talk to Russia after this? “Gabunia said on the air of” Mtavari Archi “.
Reaction in Tbilisi
The Georgian opposition and non-governmental organizations are demanding a quick investigation and greater transparency from the authorities in connection with the case, which, according to their assessments, raises many questions. Opponents also call on the Georgian leadership to involve foreign partners in the investigation..
At the same time, authorities note that a possible crime could cause destabilization in the country..
“Naturally, Russia will not miss the opportunity to destabilize our country … I thank the State Security Service for carrying out this operation and identifying an attacker who, by his actions, would not only endanger the life of a specific person, but in general, could become a precondition for certain clashes and destabilization, “- told reporters Gia Volsky, MP from the ruling Georgian Dream.
According to the Georgian media, on June 15, a closed trial was held in the Tbilisi City Court in the case of V.B. By a court decision, he was sent into custody until August, when the next meeting will take place..