Ethnic Chechen-Russian citizen Beslan Iznaur who allegedly is linked to plotting the murder of Georgian journalist Giorgi Gabunia, has been detained by law enforcers in Turkey on October 9, Radio Liberty’s Chechen service reports.
The hit on Gabunia was likely put out after Gabunia verbally insulted Russian President Vladimir Putin on live television.
Russian citizen of Ingush origin Vasambeg Bokov who was arrested in Tbilisi on June 12, 2020 for the illegal purchase and possession of fake documents, pursuit and obtaining of personal information of Gabunia, allegedly has ties with Iznaur. Bokov was sentenced to four years of imprisonment in February 2021.
A total of six Russian citizens from the Chechen Republic were arrested for spying in Turkey by the Istanbul police anti-terrorism unit and the Turkish security service.
However, Turkish officials have not yet commented on the case.
Opposition blogger Khasan Khalitov who currently lives in Turkey claims that the detainee Beslan Iznaur was offering money in exchange for information about him, noting that Iznaur is associated with the Chechen authorities.
Khalitov also states that Beslan Iznaur is related to the hit out on Gabunia.
Ramzan Kadyrov’s [the president of Chechnya] people think that I failed in the murder of Gabunia by handing over their man to the police. Perhaps Vasambeg convinced them of this in order to shift the blame onto me. I'm sure they asked him why the operation failed,” Khalitov stated earlier this year.
Giorgi Gabunia swore at Putin in Russian on his live show in July 2019, following protests in Tbilisi that were sparked by the presence of Russian MPs in the Georgian parliament.
Chechen President Kadyrov responded to Gabunia and advised him to hide, noting that ‘there are millions of young people who respect the Russian president.’
The head of opposition-minded TV channel Mtavari Arkhi Nika Gvaramia accused Ramzan Kadyrov of placing the hit on Gabunia whereas Kadyrov called the accusations ‘stupid,’ threatened the journalist again after Bokov’s arrest and demanded an apology from Gabunia by standing on his knees.