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Georgia demands killer border guard to face Georgian court

By Messenger Staff
Monday, May 30
Georgia demands that a Russian border guard who killed a Georgian man near the Administrative Boundary Line (ABL) separating de-facto Abkhazia from the rest of Georgia stand before a Georgian court and receive a suitable punishment.

Information that the killer had been arrested was not confirmed. Russia says an Abkhazian border guard committed the offence and the de-facto leadership - and not Russia - must address the crime.

On May 27, an International Prevention and Response Mechanism (IPRM) meeting was held in Abkhazia’s town of Gali, where Georgians and the de-facto Abkhazian leadership sat down for the first time in four years to discuss the brutal murder of 31-year-old Giga Otkhozoria.

“The meeting was quite constructive and calm. It mainly concerned the murder in the village of Khurcha (Georgia controlled territory). We raised the issue of handing the killer to us for him to stand before a Georgian court,” Irakli Beraia from the SSS stated.

He said that the next IPRM meeting, addressing human rights and security issues in and near de-facto Abkhazia, would take place on July 6.

Beraia added that before the IPRM meeting, the next round of the Geneva International Talks - created to address Georgia’s conflict issues - was scheduled in June, where the murder would also be heavily discussed.

Otkhozoria was on Georgian-controlled territory when he was gunned down by Russian-controlled border guards stationed near the ABL with breakaway Abkhazia about 2.30pm on May 19.

Otkhozoria was shot six times, including once in the head.

On May 21 Georgia’s Chief Prosecutor’s Office announced the individual who shot Otkhozoria had been identified.

That same day, video footage was released which showed Otkhozoria retreating from a confrontation with the guards when he was shot.

The Chief Prosecutor’s Office has already addressed Interpol to announce an international search for Otkhozitia’s murderer.