Cultural Revolutions

Georgians In Londonistan

In February, when 52-year-old Georgian billionaire and political exile Badri Patarkatsishvili died at his Surrey mansion, British media wondered if this might be a Georgian version of the Litvinenko affair.  Patarkatsishvili had been a supporter of President Mikheil Saakashvili’s 2003 “Rose Revolution” but had lately been in opposition to the Georgian president, running against him in January’s presidential elections, which were called by Saakashvili after months of political turmoil and the imposition of emergency rule.  Patarkatsishvili had fled the country after Tbilisi aired a recording of him allegedly offering a Georgian security official $100 million to support the opposition.  Accused of planning a coup and “terrorist acts” against Georgian officials, Badri left for Britain.

Patarkatsishvili had claimed his enemies were planning his assassination, at one point commenting that even his 120-man security contingent wouldn’t be enough to stop them.  To back up his claims, Badri released an audiotape allegedly of a conversation between a Georgian interior-ministry official and Chechen gangster Uvais Akhmadov, a member of a group notorious for kidnapping and contract murders.  (Akhmadov and his gang are widely believed to be behind the kidnapping and murder of three British engineers and one New Zealander, whose severed heads were found on a Chechen roadside in 1998.) ...

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