Kakha Muradov Suspected of High Treason in Favour of Georgia

Kakha Muradov Arrested on High Treason Charges. | Video Screenshot

Kakha Muradov Arrested on High Treason Charges. | Video Screenshot

SUKHUM / AQW'A ―  The State Security Service (SSS) of Abkhazia detained Kakha Shotovich Muradov, a citizen of Abkhazia and Georgia, in the town of Gagra. According to the SSS press service, Muradov is suspected of committing high treason for the benefit of Georgia.

During a search of Muradov's residence, technical devices indicating his involvement in espionage activities for Georgian intelligence services were discovered and seized.

Muradov allegedly attempted to recruit residents of Abkhazia to clandestinely work in what they believed was in the interest of restoring Georgia's territorial integrity. When questioned about the whereabouts of his Georgian passport, Muradov claimed it was with relatives in Georgia but did not disclose their names.

SSS officials established that Muradov was gathering and transmitting information to hostile intelligence services, jeopardising the security of the Republic of Abkhazia. He also maintained contacts with former commanders of the so-called Gagra battalion of the Georgian State Council, members of the radical nationalist group "Mkhedrioni". (The Mkhedrioni, founded by Jaba Ioseliani, was a Georgian nationalist terrorist organisation that existed from 1989 to 1995. ―ed.)

Kakha Muradov was born in Abkhazia in 1977. According to his information, from 1994 to 1999, he worked in the Georgian Ministry of Internal Affairs. In 1999, Georgian intelligence services dispatched him to Abkhazia.

Muradov was introduced to Georgian intelligence by Murtaz Chelidze, a former commander of the Gagra battalion. "He introduced me to SSS Georgia officer Inver Perkheliani. Later, Inver introduced me to officer Kakha Sabandze," Muradov stated during interrogation.

Muradov's assignment was to monitor trains entering Abkhazia from Russia, specifically noting whether they carried armoured vehicles or other military equipment. "I was supposed to photograph, count, and report via a designated phone number," said Muradov.

Plans were made to use Muradov to infiltrate government institutions and military facilities to gather information on the military-tactical capabilities of the Armed Forces of Abkhazia.

"In 2017, I went to Tbilisi for medical treatment. I had part of the necessary sum for the operation, but I lacked 7,000 lari, which was provided by the Georgian State Security Service. After being discharged, I went to Murtaz Chelidze's home. He invited Lasha Kakubava, also an SSS Georgia officer. Lasha told me to keep our acquaintance and assignments secret. He asked me to photograph two houses in Gagra. Upon returning to Abkhazia, he called and asked me to photograph two more houses. I took the photos, recorded videos, and sent them to Lasha," Muradov recounted. The houses photographed had belonged to Georgians until 1992.

Muradov's next trip to Georgia was on 17 May 2023, at Lasha Kakubava's request.

"Lasha introduced me to his uncle, Boris Kakubava, a Georgian parliamentarian. During the 1992–1993 war, Boris Kakubava formed the Gagra battalion. He told me he had been wounded several times and was a proponent of peaceful resolution and the reunification of Abkhazia with Georgia. Before returning to Abkhazia, Boris Kakubava gave me a document with three points: the Abkhazian government must annul Abkhazian citizenship obtained after 1993; ethnic Georgians who left before 1993 should return to their homes; and I was to find people in Abkhazia who were loyal to the idea of reunification with Georgia. A million lari would be allocated for this purpose. For instance, if someone had a household problem or any other issue, I was to study it and help them financially," Muradov disclosed during interrogation.

Analysis of the incoming information indicates active intelligence activities by Georgian SSS representatives among individuals from Abkhazia. It was found that the direct approach to Muradov by the Gagra battalion representatives was due to his dependency on the circumstances. Georgian intelligence recruitment activities in Abkhazia often involve attempts to manipulate individuals unwittingly.

On May 9, 2024, the investigative department of the SSS of the Republic of Abkhazia initiated a criminal case against Muradov. He has been remanded in custody.

SSS officers are conducting a comprehensive investigation to document all facts and episodes of high treason.



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