Interpol launches search for guard who killed Georgian near Abkhazia occupation line

18 Mar 2017 - 12:11:00

comments powered by Disqus,18 Mar 2017 - 12:11, Tbilisi,Georgia

The individual accused of murdering a Georgian citizen last year near the Administrative Boundary Line (ABL) separating Georgia and its breakaway region of Abkhazia has been declared wanted by Interpol.

An Interpol warrant for the arrest of 29-year-old Rashid Kanjioghli was issued after Georgian authorities appealed to Interpol to do so back in 2016.

Should Kanjioghli be arrested and convicted, he will serve a 14-year sentence for the murder of Giga Otkhozoria and the illegal purchase and possession of a firearm.

31-year-old Otkhozoria was murdered when he was trying to transport food into the breakaway region for a funeral ceremony of his late aunt on May 19, 2016. Locals said the border guards demanded Otkhozoria pay a bribe in exchange for transporting the goods, which caused a dispute. They said Otkhozoria ran away from the border guards but was shot as he retreated.

Otkhozoria was on Georgian-controlled territory at around 2:30 p.m when he was gunned down by Kanjioghli near the ABL. Witnesses say that Kanjioghli then hid in occupied Abkhazia after shooting Otkhozoria six times.

Otkhozoria left behind his wife and two children.

Zugdidi City Court in the west of Georgia sentenced Kanjioghli to 12-year imprisonment in absentia on December 26, 2016. However, the prosecution applied for the Court of Appeals to rule a heavier punishment. On March 10, 2017 Kutaisi Court of Appeals granted the petition of appeal and aggravated punishment of Kanjioghli, sentencing him to 14 years imprisonment. 

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