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Prosecutor’s Office Charges Two For Tatunashvili’s Murder Case

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Monday, June 18
The Georgian Chief Prosecutor’s Office charged and the court sent two alleged offenders in the high-profile murder case of Archil Tatunashvili to pre-trial detention last week.

The two alleged offenders are employees of so-called law enforcement agency in Tskhinvali. They were not sent to prison as all actions of Tbilisi are in absentia.

All previous demands of Tbilisi about the handover of offenders or alleged offenders were in vain, as the Russia-controlled territory leadership refuses to take such steps.

Tatunashvili’s father welcomed the decision but said that it would be better to see the people behind cells.

The alleged offenders, David Gurtsiev and Alik Tabuev, were charged by the Prosecutor's Office of Georgia on June 14 in absentia.

On the next day the Mtskheta District Court sent the two in pre-trial detention in absentia.

The Prosecutor’s Office says that when the two learned about Tatunashvili’s membership in the Georgian Armed Forces during the Russia-Georgia 2008 war, they decided to torture him.

The statement reads that Tatunashvili, who was killed in Tskhinvali on February 23, used to bring fruit and vegetables to the occupied Akhalgori area with his two companions.

During one of the visits of the occupied territory, Taboev and Gurtsiev kidnapped Tatunashvili and his two friends and handed Tatunashvili, 35, to the members of so-called law enforcement agencies of Tskhinvali.

“Tatunashvili was transported to Tskhinvali from Akhalgori, where he was severely tortured, with more than 100 injuries on his body. The torture led to death of Tatunashvili,” the Prosecutor’s Office says.

The charge against the two envisages 9-15 years in prison.

Tatunashvili’s body was handed over to his family only after about a month from his death without his internal organs. Tbilisi is demanding the organs back to clarify an exact reason of death as Tskhinvali refuses the murder and says heart failure was the reason of Tatunashvili’s death.