Military court in breakaway Abkhazia has ordered house arrest for an Abkhaz border guard serviceman Rashid Kanji-Ogli pending trial on charges of premeditated murder of a Georgian citizen last month, Sokhumi-based news agencies reported on Thursday.
Georgian citizen Giga Otkhozoria was shot several times at point-blank range on the Georgian-controlled area close to the Khurcha-Nabakevi crossing point at the administrative boundary line with breakaway Abkhazia on May 19. The fatal shooting was captured on CCTV camera and the footage was then showed by the Georgian television stations.
The Abkhaz side filed criminal charges against Rashid Kanji-Ogli, a suspect in shooting of Otkhozoria, on May 20, but he was not arrested, causing Tbilisi’s protest.
Georgian PM Giorgi Kvirikashvili said on June 6 that failure of the Abkhaz side to prosecute a man, who killed Giga Otkhozoria, undermines confidence building efforts.
“There is a risk that someone may settle scores with the murderer. Moreover, it might be done by the party, which is directly interested in the disruption of the confidence building process,” he said. “We believe that much is at stake… The sole rational and right action is to immediately arrest the murderer.”
Georgia’s Interior Minister, Giorgi Mgebrishvili, reiterated similar position by saying on June 23: “He [Kanji-Ogli] will be safer if detained as there is information that he might be liquidated, which would then be used for escalation in the conflict zone.”
The issue was discussed at the recent round of the Geneva international discussions on June 15.
Breakaway Abkhazia’s military prosecution service asked the court on June 22 to order Kanji-Ogli’s detention and keeping him in police custody; the court, however, ordered house arrest.