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Ossetian with a gun arrested in Georgia

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Wednesday, January 6
Genadi Pliev, a resident of breakaway South Ossetia, was detained by Georgian law enforcers on January 4, however official information concerned this arrest was only made public on January 5. He is charged with crossing the administrative border with a firearm.

Shota Utiashvili, head of the Analytical Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia, said that the detainee entered the territory under Georgian control and was then arrested and taken into custody. “The detainee was armed and Georgian law enforcers detained him to keep peaceful citizens from the danger of harm,” Utiashvili stated. However the Ossetian side is accusing the Georgian Government of kidnapping the man.

The Georgian Interior Ministry said that 34-year-old Pliev, a known member of a South Ossetian illegal gang, had been detained in Nikozi, a village in the Gori district near the administrative border with breakaway South Ossetia, with a gun and hand grenades. But the Tskhinvali regime claims that Pliev was attacked and kidnapped by five men on Shanghai Street (in breakaway South Ossetia) at 07:00 on January 4 whilst exercising and then taken in the direction of Georgia. It says that at the present moment it has no information about the detainee’s whereabouts.

The de facto South Ossetian President's Special Representative in Post-Conflict Resolution Issues, Boris Chochiev, has invited the EU monitoring mission’s representatives in Tskhinvali, to see where Pliev was allegedly kidnapped from. The mission has stated that a final decision about whether to view the site has not been made yet. "Discussions with the Tskhinvali Government on this issue are ongoing, we have not yet made decision whether to accept this invitation or not,” mission representatives have said.

The Georgian Interior Ministry says that a case has already been laid against Pliev, who has been sentenced to 2 months preliminary detention. "Concerning the detainee and his criminal activities an investigation is underway. At the present time he has been charged with entering Georgian-controlled territory with arms,” Shota Utiashvili has said.