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De Facto Tskhinvali Leadership Says They Handed Tatunashvili’s Internal Organs to Tbilisi

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Thursday, July 12
Representative of Georgia’s eastern occupied Tskhinvali (South Ossetia) region Egor Kochiev told the Georgian media on Tuesday that “his government” handed the “fragments” of Archil Tatunashvili’s internal organs to Tbilisi.

After the Ergneti Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism meeting, on Georgia-Tskhinvali conflict issues, Kochiev also stated that the conclusion of the Tbilisi forensic bureau does not read that a 35-year-old Georgian soldier Tatunashvili was tortured.

He repeated that the man, who died in unclear circumstances in Tkhinvali on February 23 , died from heart failure.

Irakli Antadze from Georgia’s State Security Service told the media that fragments of Tatunashvili’s internal organs mentioned by Kochiev were insufficient for an autopsy.

“Everyone, who knows how the autopsy is conducted, is aware that certain amount of fragments is necessary. If the fragments are insufficient, autopsy will not be effective,” Antadze said.

Antadze stated “it is not surprising” that the Tbilisi Forensic Bureau conclusion does not read that Tatunashvili, whose body was handed to Tbilisi only after about a month from his death, was not tortured.

“Such types of documents never read such sentences. The forensic bureau document has its language, where a body of a deceased individual is described, wounds or injuries on it, etc.,” Antadze said.

The document by the bureau released several months ago reads that Tatunashvili’s body had more than 100 injuries and that his internal organs were removed.

Georgian officials stated that Tatunashvili was tortured by Russia-controlled law enforcers in the occupied region and demanded from Tskhinvali to return the organs for a comprehensive autopsy.

Kochiev also criticized the Otkhozoria-Tatunashvili list, which lists and sanctions individuals who have violated the rights of Georgian citizens since the 1990s, and said that Tskhinvali also intended to make a similar list of "Georgian offenders.”

Antadze said that the central government of Georgia also raised the issue of Georgian civil activist Tamar Mearakishvili and informed the international community about her case.

Mearakishvili is being suppressed in the occupied Tskhinvali for her publications and civil activities.

Kochiev claimed that despite legal proceedings against Mearakishvili, she was not under house arrest and could write her stories freely, which Mearakishvili says is a lie.

The following Ergneti meeting will take place on September 14.