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The News in Brief

Tuesday, November 8
Pre-trial detention ordered for detainees accused of murdering a 70-old-woman

Pre-trial detention has been ordered for all five detainees, who stand accused of murdering a 70-old-woman.

The next trial has been scheduled for December 8.

Five people were detained for murdering a 70-year-old woman on 4 November. One of the detainees is the victim’s 18-year-old daughter, the other the girl's boyfriend, the remaining three are their friends.

Three of the detainees used an electric shocker and a knife to kill the woman, after which they dismembered the body and took it to a landfill with two bags. There they poured petrol on the bags and burned them.

Three of the detainees are charged with murdering a person, while the rest two are accused of not reporting of the crime.

Lavrov Meets New Abkhaz Foreign Minister in Moscow

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov held talks with new Abkhaz Foreign Minister Daur Kove on November 3, who paid his first visit to Moscow in his new capacity.

“During the meeting, the sides discussed at length the ways of deepening bilateral relations as well as key avenues of cooperation in regional and international affairs, including participation in the Geneva International Discussions on security and stability in the Trans-Caucasus,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

“The talks have revealed similar or identical positions on the issues discussed along with their mutual commitment to further intensify the diverse cooperation between our states,” it said.

“We are allies, and this is the main prerequisite of the republic’s peaceful development,” Lavrov said in his opening remarks during talks with the Abkhaz Foreign Minister.

Daur Kove was appointed as the breakaway region’s foreign minister in early October after Vyacheslav Chirikba resigned from this post.

The Russian Foreign Minister said that bilateral relations with Sokhumi are based on firm legal frameworks involving “almost all spheres of relations”. In this context, he mentioned Russia’s ratification of the treaty with Abkhazia on establishing a Combined Group of Forces that was condemned by Tbilisi as “yet another unlawful episode of factual annexation process” that “significantly threatens the stability of the entire region”.

Lavrov said that Moscow is mostly focused on social and economic cooperation. He also spoke about foreign issues, and noted that Russia plans to strengthen its support of Abkhazia on the international arena.

“We hope for close coordination of actions in the context of the Geneva discussions on the South Caucasus, primarily, the promotion of legally binding agreements on the non-use of force, as envisaged in the Medvedev-Sarkozy plan that initiated international discussions on the security of Abkhazia and South Ossetia,” the Russian Foreign Minister said.

The non-use of force commitment is one of the key issues discussed by the negotiators for many rounds already in Geneva. Georgia, which made a unilateral non-use of force pledge in 2010, insists that Russia should reciprocate, but Russia refuses to make such a declaration as it does not consider itself to be a party in the conflict, and instead wants Tbilisi to sign non-use of force treaties with Sokhumi and Tskhinvali. In the Geneva talks, the participants have been discussing the possibility of adopting a joint statement on non-use of force for a long time already. Tbilisi wants the text of such a statement to make reference to the need of Moscow to undertake non-use of force pledge.

“I know that on November 9 you expect a delegation of mediators participating in the Geneva discussions. We will be interested in knowing your assessments of the forthcoming contacts,” Lavrov added.

29-year-old man arrested for beating his 15-year-old wife

A 29-year-old man was arrested a few days ago in Georgia for beating his 15-year-old wife.

The young victim’s mother says her underage daughter has broken teeth, broken ribs and a broken nose after suffering systematic abuse at the hands of her husband.

After the case became publicly known one week ago, police began investigating it, on the basis of article 126 of the Criminal Code about family violence, which carries a maximum sentence of three years in jail.

But the family also wants the man punished for having sexual relations with a minor, which may be punished by 9 to 12 years in jail.

The girl married the 29-year-old man four months ago by her own free will, her mother told Maestro TV, but the marriage was unofficial.

After a month of marriage, the husband began beating and insulting her, the mother said. Sometimes he beat her with a bottle, sometimes a stick and sometimes he kicked her, she continued.

The mother also accused the man of infecting the girl with tuberculosis.

“An expert told us that it was a murder attempt,” she said.

The girl hid the systematic violence she was subjected to until she found out her husband had tuberculosis. Then she told her parents.

“He ruined the entire life of my child. He has to be held responsible for infecting my daughter,” the mother said.

Lawyer Eliso Rukhadze, who represents the girl, told DFWatch that the case is not only about family violence, but it is a serious crime.

After the girl told her story a week ago, the police soon arrested her husband. The 15-year-old then moved back in with her mother and siblings. She is in good health, but suffering from psychological stress.

“Sexual relations with a person under 16 is punished by law and if it is repeated, then the punishment will increase. Information [about this case] is confidential, and I cannot tell you anything in advance [of the trial],” she told us.
(DF watch)