Breakaway Tskhinvali Transfers Deceased Tatunashvili’s Body to Georgia

After 26 days, de facto authorities of Georgia’s breakaway South Ossetia (Tskhinvali) region decided to transfer the body of a deceased Georgian citizen, Archil Tatunashvili to his homeland.

The puppet regime had been refusing to hand Tatunashvili’s body over to Georgia since February 23, when the man died in custody in a Tskhinvali detention facility in unclear circumstances. However, late on March 20, the body of Tatunashvili was transferred to the Georgian side.

According to Georgia’s State Security Service, (SSS), the body was handed over to Tbilisi with the help of the International Committee of the Red Cross.

“All relevant state authorities and international partners have conducted intensive work in connection to Archil Tatunashvili case. A proper investigation will be carried out into this tragic fact,” the SSS reports.

Kakhaber Kemoklidze, Deputy Head of Information-Analytical Department of State Security Service, stated the most important thing today is that the body was transferred and returned to the family.

“The Security Service is grateful to all the people who participated in this process. We are studying this issue in depth. We believe that an in-depth and transparent investigation of this case should be carried out, and if people are found guilty, they must be punished", said Kemoklidze.

The body was examined at Levan Samkharauli National Forensics Bureau, after which it was transferred to his home in the village of Tsilkani.

A civil funeral will be held from Wednesday. Tatunashvili, 35, will be buried on Saturday.

Georgian media says the body has injuries on the hands and head, saying it is obvious that Tatunashvili was tortured by occupants.

However, the Ossetian media outlet PEC reports Tatunashvili “was suspected of sabotage and murder of civilians” during the Georgia-Russia August war 2008, in Leningori (Akhalgori).

The agency claims that the so called law enforcers used physical force against Tatunashvili when he attempted to escape, adding that as a result, he fell down the stairs and died two hours later in a hospital.

PEC reports that a forensic medical examination carried out in Tskhinvali on 22-23 February showed that Archil Tatunashvili died of heart failure.

The Georgian side has many doubts regarding Tatunashvili’s death. The case was also echoed by the international community, who reaffirmed their strong support for Georgia’s territorial integrity and the inviolability of its international borders and expressed concern over the death of the Georgian citizen.

By Thea Morrison


21 March 2018 08:59