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Gov’t Demands Punishment of Offender at Gali Meeting

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Friday, January 19
(GALI, Abkhazia)--The Government of Georgia continues to demand the punishment of the Russia-controlled, Abkhazian so-called border guard Rashid Kanjiogli, who brutally killed Georgian citizen Giga Otkhozoria in May 2016.

Georgia has been demanding either a tough punishment or handing over the offender since the murdering. However, the person who killed 30-year-old Otkhozoria with six gunshots, still walks free in the occupied Abkhazia region.

The central government of Georgia once again raised Kanjiogli’s issue at January 17 gathering in Gali, in occupied Abkhazia, within the Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism (IPRM) meeting.

At the meeting, which aimed to discuss conflict issues with the presence of Georgian officials and the representatives of the breakaway Abkhazia, Georgia strongly demanded the punishment of Kanji Ogli, who was sentenced to 14 years in prison in absentia by Kutaisi court last year.

The central government of Georgia has “grounded information” as they say that Kanjiogli was even released from the home detention due to the lack of evidence by the de facto Prosecutor’s Office of Abkhazia.

Georgia’s Young Lawyers’ Association, one of the leading NGOs in Georgia, has already filed a lawsuit in the European Court of Human Rights against Russia over Otkhozoria’s case, with the name of the Otkhozoria family.

The NGO reported that Russia was responsible for the case as the country occupied 20 percent of the Georgian land and fully controlled situation both in Abkhazia and another occupied region of Tskhinvali (South Ossetia).

Otkhozoria was on Georgian-controlled territory when he was shot by Kanji Ogli six times, including one in the face. He was rushed to hospital but died soon after and left behind wife and two underage children.

Otkhozoria’s case was the top issue raised by the central government of Georgia on May 27, 2016, when after the four-year suspension IPRM meetings restored.

The IPRM meetings were established as a peacekeeping tool that allowed conflicting parties to discuss issues face-to-face however the meetings were suspended in April 2012 after the Abkhaz side refused to participate.