Court sends two charged for Tatunashvili’s case to pre-trial detention in absentia

The alleged killers are on the territory of Georgia’s occupied Tskhinvali region. Photo:, 15 Jun 2018 - 17:23, Tbilisi,Georgia

The Mtskheta District Court in the east Georgia sent two individuals from the occupied Tskhinvali (South Ossetia) region to pre-trial detention in absentia for illegal deprivation of liberty of a Georgian citizen Archil Tatunashvili and support in torturing of him.

The Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia stated that the court shared their motion. 

Tatunashvili’s father welcomed the decision but said that it would be better to see the people behind cells. 

The individuals, employees of the so-called law enforcement agencies of Tskhinvali, David Gurtsiev and Alik Tabuev, were charged by the Prosecutor's Office of Georgia yesterday in absentia. 

The Prosecutor’s Office says that when the two learned about Tatunashvili’s membership in the Georgian Armed Forces during the Russia-Georgia 2008 war, they decided to torture him.

The statement reads that Tatunashvili, who was killed in Tskhinvali on February 23, used to bring in fruit and vegetables in the occupied Akhalgori area with his two companions.

During one of the visits of the occupied territory, Taboev and Gurtsiev kidnapped Tatunashvili and his two friends and handed Tatunashvili, 35, to the members of so-called law enforcement agencies of Tskhinvali.

Tatunashvili was transported to Tskhinvali from Akhalgori, where he was severely tortured, with more than 100 injuries on his body. The torture led to death of Tatunashvili,” the Prosecutor’s Office says.

The charge against the two envisages 9-15 years in prison.

The government of Georgia raises Tatunashvili’s case at all meetings with the representatives of the occupied territories and is demanding the handover of Tatunashvili’s body, to clarify an exact reason of the death.

Tatunashvili’s body was handed over to his family only after about a month from his death with his internal organs cut out.