The Tbilisi-based Abkhazian Supreme Council, which is formally deemed by Tbilisi as the only legitimate legislative body in the region, issued a statement on June 5, calling on the authorities in Sokhumi and the Russian Federation to launch a new investigation over Khurcha fatal shooting, when Giga Otkhozoria, a thirty-year-old Georgian citizen, was shot dead.
“Sokhumi’s “argument” that Tbilisi failed to provide adequately prepared evidence and materials is a blatant lie,” the Supreme Council said, referring to the statements of Abkhaz authorities that Tbilisi failed to send “necessary” case-related evidence to Sokhumi.
“Legal materials, which contain all scrupulously-examined case-related documents, were handed over to Sokhumi, to say nothing of the authentic evidence - the video footage [of the murder], which was broadcast throughout the entire world and which is at the de facto authorities’ disposal [as well],” the statement reads.
“Neglecting the investigation into the murder committed in front of hundreds of people … is a sinister development,” the Supreme Council added. “Such an unjust justice will bring nothing to neither the Abkhaz de facto authorities, who have an ambition of achieving the recognition of its “independence,” nor the Russian ruling elite, who aspire towards recognizing Russia as "a superpower,”” it went on.
The Supreme Council concluded by calling on the Abkhaz and the Russian sides to re-launch criminal proceedings and investigation into the case and restrict the freedom of Rashid Kanji-Ogli “until the investigation is completed.”
Giga Otkhozoria was murdered by Rashid Kanji-Ogli, Abkhaz serviceman, on the Georgian-controlled territory at the Khurcha-Nabakevi crossing point between Abkhazia’s predominantly ethnic Georgian-populated Gali district and its adjoining Zugdidi district of Samegrelo region on May 19, 2016.
Kanji-Ogli was tried in absentia by a Georgian court and was sentenced to 14 years in prison. He was also placed on INTERPOL’s wanted list at the request of Georgian authorities.
The Abkhaz representatives notified Tbilisi of their decision to drop charges against Kanji-Ogli at the 46th Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism (IPRM) meeting in Gali. Sokhumi previously claimed it had imposed house arrest for Rashid Kanji-Ogli.