Jihad video case

MIA: citizen of Kyrgyzstan working in Sokhumi behind “Jihad” threat video

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Citizen of Kyrgyzstan, Samar Chokutaev is suspected of releasing the so called Jihad threat videos, Georgian Interior Ministry's public relations service head, Nino Giorgobiani said on 3 October. Giorgobiani said Chokutaev works in one of the communication companies in Sokhumi.

"Citizen of Kyrgyzstan, Samar Chokutaev, born on 6 March, 1989 has been identified as a perpetrator following the Interior Ministry's intense investigative and operative-technical activities. Chokutaev works in one of the communication companies in Sokhumi. Criminal proceedings have been launched under Article 330 of the Georgian Criminal Code," Giorgobiani said "Samar Chokutaev has been charged with 'releasing information with the purpose of encouraging a terrorist act, which raises a threat of such a crime.' It has been established, that Chokutaev is a highly qualified IT specialist and he perpetrated the crime on the territory not under control of the Georgian government. Specifically, on 4 June, 2013 Samar Chokutaev posted a video on the internet under the name of Hammad Zaman. The video threatened Georgian military serving in Afghanistan and the Georgian President," she added.

According to the Interior Ministry, "the investigation revealed that the footage used to create the threat video has been obtained in the free access internet space. The video was created as a result of editing the footage and in order to do so the author of the video did not need to have a direct or physical access to any archives of any of the Georgian TV stations; the crime was perpetrated from the occupied territory of Abkhazia."

Giorgobiani said, Samar Chokutaev used Georgian GSM operators' (Magticom, Geocell, Mobitel) internet modems. Frequencies of all three GSM operators cover part of the territory of Abkhazia, while the towers, allegedly used by Chokutaev, are situated on the territory controlled by the Georgian authorities, she said. "Chokutaev accessed internet lines of private institutions on two different locations in Tbilisi using an encrypted line through a pre set up server in Malaysia from Abkhazia; and with a purpose of covering evidence, he uploaded the video through routers located in the above mentioned offices to create an impression that the crime was perpetrated from the locations close to the previously mentioned offices. On the initial stages of the investigation, Georgian law enforcers identified the IP addresses located in Tbilisi," Giorgobiani said.

Head of MIA's PR service said Tbilisi City Court sentenced Chokutaev to pre-trial detention in absentia. "The investigation continues and the Interior Ministry will keep informing the citizens. The Interior Ministry is grateful to the special services of the ally states for their help to investigate the case," Giorgobiani said.

Head of the Georgian President's Administration, Andro Barnovi said the Interior Ministry's investigation into the so called Jihad videos case is "not convincing."

"If they resolved the case a month ago, what were they waiting for? I held briefings on this topic 5-6 times. The Inteiror Ministr's version is a lie. How can one believe that they resolved the case a month ago and then they forgot about it? In fact, there is an inner competition inside the government and we are being crushed among all these," Barnovi said.

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