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Abkhazians Raise an Ultimatum over the High-Profile Otkhozoria Murder Case

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Thursday, June 28
Representatives of Russia and Georgia’s occupied Abkhazia region have demanded the removal of the brutal murder case of Giga Otkhozoria from the agenda of the Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism (IPRM) meeting in Gali area of breakaway Abkhazia on Wednesday.

The Georgian State Security Service reported that Russians and Abkhazians raised an ultimatum the central government of Georgia not to speak about the punishment of Rashid Kanjiogli, the Russia-controlled border guard who killed Otkhozoria with six gunshots in 2015.

“We responded that the issue of handover and punishment of Kanjiogli is principally important for the government of Georgia and that we did not intend to remove the case. After the hearing, the response representatives of Abkhazia and Russia quit the meeting in protest,”Irakli Antadze, the representative of Georgia’s State Security Service told the media in Gali.

Antadze says that Abkhazians and Russians also protested against the Otkhozoria-Tatunashvili list, elaborated by the government of Georgia, which includes the people who have violated the rights of Georgian citizens in the country’s occupied regions of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali (South Ossetia) since 1990s.

IPRM meetings, concerning Georgian conflict issues, were restored in 2016 after the four-year break, and the first topic of the meeting was Otkhozoria’s brutal murder.

The murderer of Otkhozoria was sentenced 14 years in prison by the Georgian court in 2014.

However, the man still walks free as the de facto government refuses to hold him accountable for his offence.

Otkhozoria, 31, was shot on the territory controlled by Georgia and the incident was recorded by cameras.

Date of the following IPRM meeting remains unknown. It is also unknown whether the meetings in Gali will renew.

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.