Border guard who shot, killed Georgian man near Abkhazia ABL identified

Agenda.ge, 21 May 2016 - 12:38, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgian authorities have uncovered the identity of the border guard who shot and killed a Georgian man near the Administrative Boundary Line (ABL) separating de facto Abkhazia region from the rest of Georgia.

Several investigations have launched into the brutal murder of 31-year-old Giga Otkhozoria, who was shot six times by Russia’s border guards while he was on Georgian-controlled territory near the ABL.

Late last night Georgia’s Chief Prosecutor Irakli Shotadze announced the person who committed the murder had been identified.

He added Georgia’s Interior Ministry was investigating the case and further information would release in the coming days.

Meanwhile the Prosecutor General's Office of de facto Abkhazia has also launched a criminal investigation into the death of the Georgian man, reported Russian news agency Tass.

De facto Prosecutor General Alexei Lomaia told journalists that investigators must determine what really happened and whether the Abkhazian border guards’ behavior was in compliance with military disciplinary regulations.

The Abkhaz side alleged that two [Georgian] men tried to cross the so-called border without documents on May 19. After the Abkhazian border guards warned the men, one retreated while the other man, [the victim], was believed to be under the influence of alcohol and allegedly threatened the guards that he would use physical force against them.

"The border guard fired warning shots at first and when the attacker threatened [violence], the guard was forced to use a gun," Lomaia said.

Border guards run away after shooting victim (VIDEO)

A graphic video filmed the moment Otkhozoria was gunned down by several border guards.

The extremely disturbing video, filmed by CCTV cameras from the Georgian side, spread throughout Georgian media last night.

The video showed Otkhozoria standing on Tbilisi-controlled area while several guards from the de facto region crossed the bridge from the border station and approach the victim. One of the guards shot him several times in the body.

The same guard moved closer and shot the victim in the face as he lay wounded on the ground.

Moments later the border guards hastily ran away from the scene.

There were many civilians in the area at the time of the shooting. Video footage showed the public refrain from getting involved in the confrontation between the border guards and the victim, and when the shots were fired, many of the public quickly retreated.

Once the guards were away from the scene, several people approached the fallen man.

Georgia’s Foreign Minister Mikheil Janelidze said nothing could ease the pain facing Otkhozoria’s family but the Georgian side who do its best to give the proper judicial assessment to this "disgusting fact”.

He promised all offenders would be punished.

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