The father, wife and daughters of Georgian citizen Zaza Gakheladze - illegally detained and sentenced by the Russia-backed occupying forces - have visited him in occupied Tskhinvali (South Ossetia) jail with the support of International Committee of the Red Cross.
The Georgian service of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reports that Gakheladze’s wife - Irma Butkhizi - spoke with them about their meeting. Butkhuzi says her husband feels overall well, but misses his family.
Zaza says he is neither a prisoner, nor a hostage there, but rather a toy, which the Ossetians need to trade on with the Georgian government... in exchange for something”, Butkhuzi told RFERL.
Zaza Gakheladze was shot and arrested near the occupation line dividing Tskhinvali region from the rest of Georgia last summer. Earlier this year he was sentenced to 12 years and six months in prison by the de facto Supreme Court for ‘illegally crossing the border and attempted murder’, which he denies.
The Georgian State Security Security says that ‘Russia is responsible for the illegal decision’ and for all the ‘criminal and inhumane’ acts which are taking place along with the occupation of the Georgian territories of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali.