On 30 January, the former Prime Minister of Georgia, Vano Merabishvili, commented on a video footage released via YouTube a day before, featuring the process of planning a special operation against mutineers in the Mukhrovani military base. Merabishvili said that he issued the order to find two corpses of Russian advisors who were killed by mutineers.
"According to our information, two Russian advisors were involved in the Mukhrovani mutiny; however, the organizers of the mutiny killed them to hide evidence. This video footage shows that I am giving the order of finding the corpses of these two persons. That was very important for us in order to prove the link between this mutiny and Russia. As regards attempts to interpret it as if I ordered the killing of two persons, let me tell you that within an hour of that order, our regiment arrested a group of so-called rangers - from five to seven persons, if memory serves me well, near the Mukhrovani village. Weapons were not used against them and none of them got wounded. This order is artificially linked to a special operation which was conducted three weeks from that order to detain [Colonel Koba] Otanadze and his team in Tbilisi's Gldani district. Even more, the regiment which conducted the detention operation of Otanadze was not on the territory of Mukhrovani base during that special operation against muteneers. Consequently, there is no link between these two events. All the materials of both the first and second special operations, which politicians try to link to each other, are kept at the Ministry of Internal Affairs. I want to call on the prosecutor's office and relevant bodies to investigate this issue. I am hundred percent innocent in this case. I was the head of one of law-enforcement bodies during the 2008 [Russia-Georgia] war as well during the Mukhrovani mutiny. The unity and survival of our country largely depended on my firmness. I have never issued an order of killing any person.
"Otanadze and [Rangers' Battalion Commander Levan] Amiridze were wounded during their detention. Moreover, I asked my friend Givi Targamadze to call the hospital and ask doctors there to take a special care of those persons. I did that not only because they are our citizens but also because they knew very important information on how Russian special services planned the mutiny in Georgia," Merabishvili said during his trial on 30 January.
The video material, recorded during the mutiny by a Georgian Army tank battalion based in Mukhrovani in 2009, was released via YouTube on 29 January. The video shows the planning of the special operation with a group of people in military uniforms, including former chair of the Constitutional Security Department of the Interior Ministry Data Akhalaia, discussing how to act. According to the video material, the then Interior Minister Vano Merabishvili arrives at the scene by helicopter and joins the group.
"Let's question some people, [to find out] which direction they [mutineers] have gone and chase them. I need two men, two corpses, bring me these two corpses. That's it, the bonus will be high," Vano Merabishvili tells the group of people in military uniforms, calling on them to act rapidly and sending them out towards various directions.
The authenticity of this video footage has not been proved yet. A person having uploaded this video has not had any other video uploaded from this YouTube account.