TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia’s Prosecutor General’s Office has charged the former head of the military police Megis Kardava with the murder of general Roman Dumbadze.
The decision was made on April 7, but published on Tuesday.
According to the Chief Prosecutor’s Office, Kardava is charged under article 109 of the Criminal Code, violations of which are punished with from 16 to 20 years or life imprisonment.
Kardava’s lawyer Malkhaz Velijanashvili said Tuesday that the case has status as ‘top secret’, but the notice about the charges says that Kardava ordered the murder of Dumbadze, believing that he was a traitor.
Retired general Roman Dumbadze was discovered dead on May 21, 2012, near his house in Moscow. The murderer shot him seven times in the head and abdomen. Four people were arrested for the murder and all four are Georgians. Russian law enforcement reported that it was a contract killing.
In 2004, during a period of tension between Georgia’s central government and the Adjara leadership, Dumbadze declared that he disobeyed the president and central government of Georgia, and he was charged with betraying the homeland. He was arrested in 2004 and sentenced to life in prison.
In 2008, during the war with Russia, Georgia exchanged Dumbadze for 12 Georgian civilians, as requested by the Russian general Viacheslav Borisov. In 2010, Dumbadze was granted Russian citizenship by decree of the president.
One of Dumbadze’s friends, Zaza Gabedava, who lived in Moscow when Dumbadze was murdered, claimed that the one who ordered the murder paid the killers USD 150,000. He also claimed that the murder was ordered by Data Akhalaia, former head of the Constitutional Security Department. The alleged killers also indicated this in their testimonies.
Megis Kardava was a trustee of the brothers Bacho and Data Akhalaia, former government officials. After the change of government in 2012, Kardava left Georgia. The Prosecutor General’s Office charged him in several cases and he was sentenced to imprisonment in absentia.
Kardava is charged with organizing torture and sexual violence against the colonel Sergo Tetradze, who was arrested accused of spying; for organizing torture of Gali resident Malkhaz Arkania; for the case of the ‘dirty archive’ of sex tapes against potential regime critics, also known as the ‘barrels case’, which is related to the torture and deprivation of liberty of vice colonel Davit Londaride and Giorgi Gorelashvili, and finally Kardava is charged with organizing a prison riot.
After the 2003 revolution, Kardava was first appointed head of the seventh prison facility, when Bacho Akhalaia was head of the prison department. In 2007-2009, he held the post as deputy head of the police department in Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti, when Data Akhalaia was head of CSD (‘Kudi’). He was also head of the Military Police Department, when Bacho Akhalaia was defense minister.
According to lawyer Velijanashvili, Dumbadze was not a Georgian citizen and accordingly, the Chief Prosecutor’s Office didn’t have a right to proceed with the investigation.
He accused the Prosecutor General’s Office of acting on orders from Russia. The lawyer claims that the investigation is based on material provided by the Kremlin and if Kardava is arrested in some country, Russia will have an opportunity to ask to extradite Kardava to Russia.
The Prosecutor General’s Office said in a statement later on Tuesday that Kadava contacted a criminal group in Moscow through a mediator and ordered the assassination of Dumbadze.
The prosecutor explained that the case has status as ‘top secret’ and the details cannot be published.