TBILISI, DFWatch — Police in Georgia have detained a regional director of the feared domestic intelligence service, the Constitutional Security Department (CSD).
Temur Pataridze, who headed the CSD (in Georgian abbreviated to KUD, or ‘Kudi’) in the Autonomous Republic of Adjara in western Georgia, was detained after being questioning twice as a witness.
His lawyer Temur Meskhi says Pataridze is accused of abuse of powers.
Meskhi says in his opinion the detention was not fair, as he showed up for questioning twice and his testimony did not indicate the signs of a crime.
After the parliamentary election, in which the National Movement party was unexpectedly voted out of office, Temur Pataridze worked at the Special State Protection Service.
Shortly before the election, there was published a ten-minute video in the media, which seemed to show Temur Pataridze and his brother negotiating with some Chechens about ordering the murder of Vato Kipiani, well-known Georgian criminal, for which they would pay USD 100 000.
But the Interior Ministry then denied it, and accused the media for discrediting the law enforcement body.
In 2010, Pataridze was awarded the Vakhtang Gorgasali First Rank Order for successfully having carried out an operation which led to the detention of 15 persons in November of 2010. According to the investigation, the ones who were detained had secret connections to the Russian military intelligence agency GRU.
The police has announced a search for four former officials of Georgia’s CSD for abuse of powers. One of them, Oleg Melnikov, was detained in Ukraine. He is still in detention in Kiev, waiting for his extradition proceeding to be completed.
The location of the other three remains unknown, but it is known that they left the country after the October 1, 2012 parliamentary election. One of them is Data Akhalaia, former Head of the CSD and brother of Bacho Akhalaia, the former defense minister who is charged with abuse of powers, torture and illegal deprivation of liberty.