After six months of pre-trial detention, the so-called trial of illegally detained Zaza Gakheladze was held today in Russia-occupied Tskhinvali region.
RFE/RL reports that several witnesses and Gakheladze were questioned at the hearing.
The trial will continue on January 25.
Zaza Gakheladze was shot and then illegally detained by Russia-controlled occupation forces near the administrative line dividing the occupied Tskhinvali (South Ossetia) region from Tbilisi-controlled territory in July 2020.
The occupation authorities alleged Gakheladze crossed the “state border” and opened fire on “border protection staff” after the appearance of the latter on the scene.
The de-facto Security Committee of South Ossetia said Gakheladze had been injured in return fire from the “border” patrols.
If found guilty of these charges, Gakheladze may be sentenced from 11 to 20 years in prison.
Today after the trial the State Security Service of Georgia said that the central government of Georgia continues to work in order to achieve the unconditional release of Zaza Gakheladze.