GEORGIA’S JUDICIARY ACTS AGAINST ABKHAZ ETHNIC CLEANSERS.
Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 116
Georgia’s State Prosecutor’s Office announced yesterday the completion of a preliminary investigation into "acts of genocide and ethnic cleansing" perpetrated against the Georgian population of Abkhazia during the 1992-93 conflict. The investigation identified approximately 70 organizers, "including leaders of the Abkhaz separatist regime," and approximately 300 executants of the ethnic cleansing. The Georgian Prosecutor’s Office is preparing to indict the organizers and the executants in Georgian courts.
Almost the entire ethnic Georgian population of Abkhazia, which numbered nearly 300,000 or some 45 percent of Abkhazia’s total prior to 1992, was evicted by the Abkhaz with Russian military support–a factor unlikely to be mentioned by the indictment. Tbilisi’s action stems from a parliamentary decision earlier this year to investigate and indict the Abkhaz leaders for ethnic cleansing. The parliament had acted out of extreme frustration over Abkhazia’s rejection of any political compromise with Tbilisi, but a Georgian indictment would probably harden Abkhaz intransigence.
Also yesterday, Georgia’s Supreme Court announced the sentencing of two captured Chechen "mercenaries" to terms of imprisonment for having fought on the Abkhaz side against Georgia. Today, a court in Zugdidi begins the trial of two captured Abkhaz fighters, the Pachulia brothers, accused of crimes of terrorism against Georgians in Abkhazia in 1993. Last week, Abkhaz forces captured a group of approximately a dozen Georgian civilians in the zone of responsibility of Russian "peacekeepers" and are reportedly offering to exchange them for the Pachulia brothers. (Interfax, June 15 and 18).
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