One More Arrested For Allegedly Helping Terrorists Enter Georgia

Georgia’s State Security Service (SSS) has arrested Georgian citizen Zurab Idoidze in Akhmeta Municipality, Kakheti Region, with charges of helping IS-linked terrorist Akhmet Chatayev enter Georgia.

The SSS reports that the investigation established that the detainee was traveling with the previously arrested Zurab Gornakashvili to the town of Khopha, Turkey, in order to assist Akhmet Chatayev and other members of his group. The detainee, along with Zurab Gornakashvili, took Ahmed Chatayev and his group members from temporary housing in Khopa to the Kirnati-Maradidi section of Turkish-Georgian border by car.

An investigation is underway under Article 331(1), part III – Financing, Providing other Material Support and Resources to Terrorist Activities which caused grave results.

If found guilty, Idoidze faces from 17 to 20 years in jail or life imprisonment.

Natia Idoidze, sister of the detainee who lives in the US, says that her brother is not connected to the terrorists, adding she has proof that Idoidze is innocent.

“The charges against my brother are unfounded. I will return to Georgia from the US and prove he is not guilty. I also call on everyone to refrain from making any statements regarding the case,” she stated.

The residents of Pankisi Gorge say Idoidze has a wife and children in Canada, and he returned to Georgia two weeks ago from Austria, where he visited his uncle.

“As far as I know, Idoidze was going to return back to Canada. He was on his way to Tbilisi when he was arrested,” Omalo resident Tsaro Bakauri said.

Akhmet Chatayev and three of his group members were killed on November 22, 2017 in Tbilisi during the special operation in the Isani District.

In total, five men have been arrested with alleged links to the killed terrorists: Zurab Gornakashvili, Ruslan Almadov, Ramaz Margoshvili, Badur Chopanashvili and Zurab Idoidze.

One more person, Temirlan Machalikashvili, 19, who was wounded during the detention operation in Pankisi on December 26, died on January 10 in the hospital.

The SSS says the terrorists killed in November were planning to attack diplomatic missions in Georgia and Turkey.

By Thea Morrison 

10 January 2018 11:08