Georgian soldier Giorgi Tsertsvadze, who fought in the war with Abkhazia and the 2008 Georgia-Russian War, has been detained in Kyiv at Moscow’s request.
Opposition parties, civil group activists and ombudsman of Georgia called upon the government to defend the rights of the detainee.
“The Government of Georgia should do its best to defend its citizens by any possible means. The most important thing here is for the government to defend the rights of this person and do the best it can in order to avoid his [Tsertsvadze’s] extradition to the enemy country”, reads the Ombudsman’s statement.
Russia brought murder charges against Tsertsvadze in 2003, however an international warrant for his arrest was issued only in 2016.
Member of the parliamentary minority Otar Kakhidze blames the government of Georgia for releasing information on the soldier, which he claims is a betrayal of state interests, including those of other soldiers and citizens.
Member of the parliamentary majority, Dimitri Kutsnashvili commented that “even though we don’t have diplomatic relations [with Russia] I think that justice should be implemented on the highest level of such a crime. . .I don’t know exactly what Gia Tsertsvadze is charged with. Fighting in Abkhazia or Ukraine shouldn’t be used as a reason to prosecute him. . . I think we should cooperate in this homicide case”.
The United National Movement has already approached the Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia to start an investigation on Vice-Colonel Giorgi Tsertsvadze’s case. They also blame the government of Georgia for making so called “punishing operations” against high-profile Georgian soldiers.
The Ministry of Internal Affairs has replied to accusations of transferring information regarding Giorgi Tsertsvadze to Russia.
According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, they are obliged to exchange information which is useful for the purposes of international police cooperation. The MIA also added that there was no direct cooperation with the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs.
The MIA further explained that “since there were no violations in his documentation and he did not have criminal charges in Georgia, he was allowed to pass the border by the border police.
The Prosecutor's Office of Georgia commented that the matter has been discussed with Ukrainian officials, and made clear that the detainee’s extradition to Russia is undesirable. Furthermore, the Ukrainian Prosecutor's Office has expressed its willingness for further cooperation on this case.