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Diplomatic breach - a chance for rogues?2009-10-19 17:41
When some states quarrel, people that commit offence in one of them take a chance to seek asylum in the other. Russia (plus Abkhazia and South Ossetia) and Georgia are in the middle of the diplomatic war. Rogues prowl in both directions falling into embrace of warring authorities who for the sake of propaganda are ready to abrogate their moral principles. New examples are the stories of Imedi ex producer Badri Afanasyev and Fatima Tskua, a run-away Abkhaz woman.
It's easy to conceal one's sins in the likeness of a refugee. Runaway oligarch Boris Berezovsky, an advocate of the freedom of speech, who is hiding away in Great Britain with billions of Russian money, can confirm that. Ex producer of Imedi TV (Georgia) Badri Afanasyev is not that rich but he fled Georgia with a good round sum as his colleagues assert.
What's the best place to hide away for a Georgian? Naturally it's Russia where the Georgian authorities are unlikely to cooperate. If they denied the request of Russian officials to investigate the case of the detained mafia boss Tariel Oniani why would they care about such a small fry as Afanasyev?
The runaway himself states that after the death of businessman Badri Patarkatsishvili he, the TV company's producer, has been persecuted by the Georgian special services for associations with the opposition. In a matter of fact, it's not surprising in Georgia that is sick with spy scare.
"They have been persecuting me for contacts with the opposition and tried to obtain evidence against Badri Patarkatsishvili. That is why I decided to come and seek asylum in my historical motherland", - the namesake of the late oligarch, ex presidential candidate, and ex head of Imedi TV, told Russian media. Born in Tbilisi and bad at Russian he appeals to his remote ancestors with a Russian surname...
Late in the evening of October 15 the ill-fated producer applied to the border department of Russian FSS for a political asylum on Yarag-Kazmalyar checkpoint in Magaramkenti district of Dagestan (bordering on Azerbaijan).
Before his Imedi employment Badri Afanasyev was a commander of the special armed forces of Georgia, took part in the Georgian-Abkhaz conflict and then worked as the head of the security service of Geno Georgadze, the governor of Western Georgia.
He left the TV company two years ago when Patarkatsishvili was still alive, the company told RIA Novosti. "After that he went abroad, it seems", - the colleagues specified. According to their information he wanted to create his own show on Imedi but his plans failed.
His colleagues can't recall Afanasyev as opposition-minded or involved in political or public life, New Region news agency reports.
But they remember that a short while before his withdrawal from work Badri Afanasyev a producer of one of the projects on Imedi, took nearly USD 6 thousand set aside for a new series of a TV soap opera and vanished with the money. That is why a more believable version is that Badri is simply running away from creditors trying to avoid punishment for misappropriation of the TV company's funds.
However, pro-government media of Georgia in tribute to the regime have announced that Afanasyev is a Russian spy "hatched by FSS". Moreover some sources allegedly hint at his appurtenance to the Georgian counter-intelligence. His personal rumors were that he graduated from the USSR KGB special force school located in Balashikha town near Moscow.
Broadly speaking, the scenario for a new movie by Hollywood filmmaker Renny Harlin who has taken keen interest in Caucasus, is almost ready.