"Today many things are becoming known": Interview with Stanislav Lakoba
Anaid Gogorian, Ekho Kavkaza
Continuing the theme, the charges against former Georgian security officials in the Interior Ministry of Georgia for organising the terrorist attack in the village of Khurcha came as no surprise to the authorities of Abkhazia. This version was proposed by the Abkhazian side as soon as it was itself accused of firing at the buses. Comments on the situation comes from the head of the Abkhazian Security Council, Stanislav Lakoba.
Anaïd Gogorian: Stanislav Zosimovich, today the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia has distributed information about the disclosure of the case of the explosions in the village of Khurcha. Please comment on this information.
Stanislav Lakoba: For us this is no secret. At the very time our side announced that it was a provocation organised by Georgian special services. In particular, a statement about this was made by Sergej Bagapsh, the then-president of Abkhazia, and the head of the Gal District’s Regional Department of Internal Affairs, Lawrence Koghonia. These facts have today been confirmed, and the Georgian side has repeatedly resorted to such acts of intimidation against the population of the Gal District in order to place the blame on the Abkhazian side. If you remember, just at that time there were many drone-incidents — in fact, preparation for war was in progress, and this actually took place on 8 August 2008 in South Ossetia; this had the effect of winding up the situation in Abkhazia to a large extent. For us at the time it was perfectly obvious too that a prelude to war was underway.
As for the act in question, as is well-known, this occurred on 21 May 2008. Residents of the village of Nabakevi travelled from the Abkhazian side to the village of Khurcha, which is located in the Zugdidi Region, and these buses were blown up. By the way, this is another proof of the fact that these residents took part in the parliamentary elections in Georgia, which means that, in fact, they had Georgian citizenship. I like to make a bridge over to the issue of passportisation, around which today there is much talk and debate — as you know, there was a decision of the Parliament about this issue. This fact once again proves that they are still citizens of Georgia; they travelled to the Georgian side and took part in the parliamentary elections in the Republic of Georgia.
I would also like to mention other provocations that have taken place in Abkhazia. Yesterday I made a statement, and today it appeared on the websites of our news-agencies, making the point that, on 3 February 2007, at the time when preparations were being made for the parliamentary elections in Abkhazia, the head of the Gal Election Commission, David Sigua, was abducted by the Georgian special services from Gal town. To this day, we have no information about him, although all international organisations, especially those dealing with human rights, have been informed about this on several occasions. This issue has been raised several times at the Geneva talks, but even so we have not received a clear answer. We hope that the new leadership of Georgia today will assess these developments and clarify the fate of this man, a citizen of Abkhazia, a Georgian [Mingrelian — translator] by nationality, by name David Sigua, who was kidnapped during the parliamentary elections in Abkhazia in 2007, the more so as this was the work of the hands of the previous authorities at the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia, and, as it turns out now, of the very defendants in the case, such as Shamatava, Murgulia, Gunava and many others. In principle, this is, I would say, the very sly style of that period of the Georgian special services and policy-makers that in many ways reminds one of the times of Beria. Thank God that today the curtain is opening on these events and more is becoming known. Once again I want to say that what the Abkhazian side said at the time is today being confirmed.
Anaïd Gogorian: Stanislav Zosimovich, tell us, if you will, about the role of Roman Shamatava in the Gal District. What is known to you with regard to the terrorist attacks?
Stanislav Lakoba: It is known that this person was involved in very many acts. Once again I want to say that it is not just him, but a whole galaxy of such people. By the way, there were reports recently even by Georgian agencies about disclosure of various crimes, particularly not far from Zugdidi, where there were places of torture and where interrogations were carried out as well as kidnappings of persons not only from the territory of Abkhazia, but also Georgia. What I mean to say is that such were the tactics employed against their objectionables.
This interview was published by Ekho Kavkaza and is translated from Russian.