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Compiled by Messenger Staff
Thursday, August 29
Anniversary of Lapankuri special operation

Newspaper Kvela Siakhle reveals the new details of the Lapankuri special operation.

“The investigation is ongoing. Some new details emerge every day. The investigating of the special operation is not easy in 2-3 months, as the investigation was launched from nothing… all the evidence was destroyed by the executors of the operation. It is better for me that the investigation be lengthened in order to finally gain a genuine understanding of the events,” Merab Margoshvili, father of one of the individuals killed in the Lapankuri special operation stated.

“There is more evidence already pointing against high-ranking Georgian officials who participated in the operation,” Margoshvili said.’

On August 29, 2012, the Georgian Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA), stated that it was carrying out an anti-terrorist operation against an armed group close to Lapankuri village in the Lopota gorge, not far from the Dagestan section of the Georgian-Russian border. Later on the same day, it announced that eleven armed individuals and three Georgian special service personnel were killed in a clash that was preceded by a hostage-taking incident. After the initial denials, the Interior Ministry confirmed on September 2 that among the gunmen killed in the clash, two were Georgian citizens as well.

An investigation into the special operation was renewed after the coming of a new state administration onto power. Three corpses were exhumed in Duisi cemetery in the Pankisi gorge on May 8, 2012. Despite the fact religious traditions prohibits exhumation, relatives of Aslan Margoshvili, Salam Zaurbekov and Bahaudin Baghakashvili agreed due to the reason of getting real information concerning the special operation.

191 prisoners released on Saint Mary’s Day

IPN reports that on Saint Mary’s Day, 191 prisoners have been pardoned and released from prison. Giga Giorgadze, the Secretary of the Ministry of Corrections and Legal Assistance held a press conference concerbning the issue on August 28. He stressed that convicts have already left penitentiary institutions.

Giorgadze reports that among the pardoned are 35 women (one is pregnant) and 156 are men. From the released prisoners three were involved in Community Service Programs. “The Commission and the board members discussed the motions of those convicts who are positively characterized by the administration and have served half of their prison term. While discussing the motions, the committee members also took into account health and family conditions of the convicts and carefully assessed the risks of pardoned prisoners repeat offending,” Giorgadze stated.