The Abkhaz side indicated that Merab Kolbaia, who Tbilisi says is “one of the key suspects” behind series of explosions last autumn, was arrested by the Georgian police in the Gali district of the breakaway region.
Georgian Interior Ministry announced about the arrest of Kolbaia on February 17 as a result of “special operation”, but declined to give a location where he was arrested citing sensitivity of the operation.
Abkhaz news agency, Apsnipress, reported that the Abkhaz side raised the issue at the twenty fifth meeting of the Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism (IPRM) in Gali on February 22.
“During the meeting the Abkhaz side has again raised the issue of kidnapping of Abkhaz citizens by the Georgian special services, in particular the arrest of a resident of Gali district, Merab Kolbaia, on February 15 was discussed,” Apsnipress reported. According to the same report the Georgian side undertook two failed attempts in December, 2010 and in January, 2011 “to kidnap so called suspects from the territory of Abkhazia.”
“The Abkhaz side demanded release citizen of Abkhazia, Merab Kolbaia, and stated that such subversive acts by Georgia lead to destabilization of situation, which do not contribute constructive dialogue between the sides,” Apsnipress reported.