TBILISI: Georgia Suspects In Abkhaz Blasts Reported Found


July 18 2008

Tbilisi, 18 July: Suspects in the [29 June 2008] Gagra blasts have been
detained in [Georgia’s breakaway] Abkhazia. A Sukhumi correspondent
of the Georgia-online internet edition reports, quoting a source in
the separatist regime’s interior ministry, that the investigation
into the Gagra blasts has effectively ended and suspects have been
detained. However, there is one problem.

The source is quoted as saying that four residents of Abkhazia are on
the list of suspects exposed by the investigation. Two of them are
residents of Gagra, one was born in Gudauta, and one is a resident
of Sukhumi. Investigation believes the latter ordered the blasts.

Although the source feared to give names, it has become known that
three of the detainees are ethnic Abkhaz and one resident of Gagra is
an ethnic Armenian. However, the problem is not only the ethnicity
of the detainees. The source said that "two of the detained people
participated in the patriotic war in 1992-1993 [Georgian-Abkhaz
armed conflict] and have been awarded medals. In addition, they enjoy
support among certain circles in our government".

Such a concurrence of circumstances is not advantageous for either
representatives of the separatist enclave or Russian politicians and
military, because leaders of the Abkhaz separatist regime and the
Russian military unanimously maintained that the Georgian special
services were involved in the blasts.

The Sukhumi correspondent of Georgia-online also quoted a
representative of the Abkhaz separatist regime’s interior ministry as
noting that "although everything hinges on the criminal settling of
scores linked to business, an order will be given from above to find
a scapegoat, who will be accused of everything and will be forced
to admit his ties with the Georgian special services. That is always
done, when they want to throw a crime on somebody. As they say, they
have sufficient operational supplies, since it is a haven for tramps".