Azerbaijani journalist Afghan Mukhtarli has been granted the victim’s status.
Rights Georgia lawyer Archil Chopikashvili says his motion was granted by the prosecutor’s office and the categorization of the case was clarified.
“An investigative experiment was conducted with the participation of Afghan Mukhtarli and Rights Georgia and almost four years after the start of the investigation, a motion filed by lawyer Archil Chopikashvili has been granted, and Azerbaijani journalist Afghan Mukhtarli, who was abducted by unidentified individuals from Tbilisi in May 2017 and was handed over to the Azerbaijani authorities, has been granted victim’s status. In addition, the categorization of the case was specified. The investigation, which was previously carried out under the first part of Article 143 of the Criminal Code (unlawful deprivation of liberty), will continue under Article 143, part three, sub-subparagraph “a”, which pertains to deprivation of liberty by a group with prior agreement,” reads the statement released by the Rights Georgia.
Mukhtarli, who is currently in Georgia, said on April 8 that he did not expect the prosecution to conduct a fair investigation because he believed that the Georgian government, led by then-Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili, had taken part in his abduction.
At the same time, Mukhtarli says that based on the information obtained by him, the Azerbaijani side “paid the Georgian government for that.”
He claims that he can identify his kidnappers through photographs.
Mukhtarli, a journalist persecuted by the regime of President Ilham Aliyev, who lived in Tbilisi with his family for years, was abducted on May 29, 2017, from the center of Tbilisi and taken to a prison in Baku.
He was released from prison in March 2020.
By Ana Dumbadze