The messenger logo

The killer sentenced in absentia

By Messenger Staff
Wednesday, December 28
Zugdidi Court has sentenced Abkhazian border guard Rashid Kanji-Ogli to 12 years in jail in absentia for murdering Georgian citizen Giga Otkhozoria in May 2016 near the Administrative Boundary Line with Abkhazia, in the village of Khurcha.

Kanji-Ogli, 29, is a citizen of Georgia’s occupied territory of Abkhazia, and the puppet Abkhazian government has refused many times the demand of the Georgian authorities to hand over the murderer.

The family of Otkhozoria is not satisfied with the verdict, as the motive for murder has not been properl highlighted during the investigation. They demand the perpetrator’s detention.

The lawyer says the family plans to file a lawsuit to the Strasbourg Court against Russia, which exercises jurisdiction over in the occupied territories of Georgia.

Giga Otkhozoria was on Georgian-controlled territory when he was gunned down by border guards stationed near the Administrative Boundary Line with Abkhazia in the afternoon on May 19.

Otkhozoria was shot six times, including once in the head. He was rushed to hospital but died soon after. He left behind his wife and two children.

The Military Prosecutor's Office of the de-facto Republic of Abkhazia addressed the military court of Abkhazia with the motion to detain Rashid Kanji- Oghli in the morning on June 23. However, Kanji-Oghli was sentenced by Abkhazia's de-facto military court to domestic arrest.

The issue of Otkhozoria’s murder was raised by the Georgian side at the recent Geneva International Talks and at the Gali International Prevention and Response Mechanism meeting.

In late May, the Chief Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia addressed Interpol to announce an international search for the man who killed Otkhozoria. However, the killer remains free and no official information about his whereabouts has been revealed.