18:47, Thursday, 21.03.2019
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New accusation from Tskhinvali de-facto authority


(Meeting canceled in protest)

Lado Bitchashvili, Shida Kartli

“Meetings in the frame of the Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism will be resumed in Ergneti after they hand Tatunashvili’s body to us and release two citizens of Georgia from the occupied Akhalgori municipality,” deputy head of the analytic department of the State Security Service Kakhaber Kemoklidze made statement after the Georgian side left the meeting in protest. 

Kemoklidze said they could not receive concrete answers to their questions from the representatives of the Tskhinvali de-facto authority – they wanted to hear when the occupation regime would hand the body of Archil Tatunashvili to his family and when Levan Kutashvili and Ioseb Pavliashvili will be allowed to leave the occupied territory.

“Unless we have answers to these questions, the Government of Georgia does not see the sense to continue meetings,” Kemoklidze said.

Representative of Tskhinvali de-facto government Boris Chochiev did not make comments with Georgian media.

Deputy director of SSS Analytic Department said, the representatives of the so-called South Ossetia stated that Archil Tatunashvili’s body is in Tskhinvali but the materials were sent to the Russian expertise bureau. The body will be handed to the family only after the expertise results are available.

Kemoklidze said the meetings in Ergneti will continue after the requirements of the Government of Georgia are satisfied.

Several minutes after the meeting, the chairperson of the Information and Printed Media State Committee of the Tskhinvali de-facto authority held special briefing and imposed a new charge on the deceased man. He is now blamed in plotting the sabotage. The accusation is based on the recently discovered handmade explosive device under the bridge in Akhalgori.

“The explosive device was made of magnate pieces, explosive substance and wires. Everything was mixed up and fixed to the mobile phone by adhesive tape,” Maria Kotoeva told RES.

She added that sabotage acts were plotted in connection with the planned presidential elections in the Russian Federation, which aimed to cause public-political destabilization.

Circumstances in which Archil Tatunashvili died

Archil Tatunashvili was arrested in Akhalgori on February 22. On February 23 information about his death was disseminated. Investigative bodies of Tskhinvali de-facto authority reported that Archil Tatunashvili tried to seize arms from one of the officers when he was transported to Tskhinvali temporary detention setting and the officers responded to his action – they used physical power and special means against him. Consequently, Archil Tatunashvili lost balance and fell off the stairs. He died of acute heart failure. 

Family members and government of Georgia mistrust the position of the de-facto authority. Public Defender of Georgia Nino Lomjaria stated that Archil Tatunashvili was already dead when he was delivered to Tskhinvali hospital.

There are several circumstances which verify the mistrust towards the statements of the Tskhinvali de-facto authority – they delay delivery of Archil Tatunashvili’s body to the family and rejected the offer of the Government of Georgia to engage independent expertise bureau in the investigation process. 

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