Today’s Georgian press still covers the situation existing in the Pankisi Valley (see 16.07.01 and 18.07.01 Georgian Meida Digest). “The Dilis Gazeti” has published updated information, according to which Georgians have released all six Kist and Chechen hostages late last night. “The fait of about ten hostages in the Pankisi Valley (those, Kists have kidnapped) is still unknown. The Georgian side followed its traditions and compromised again”, “the Dilis Gazeti” states.
“The Resonance” comments on the condition existing the Pankisi Valley but since the hostages have just been released the situation has probably changed there. One is clear though: the local population of Kahketi accused the Interior Ministry of crime been common in the valley and supposes that the condition is artificially created by the law enforcement agencies there. The following detail backs up the claim: Kakha Targamadze, the Interior Minister, was negotiating with Vepkhia Margoshvili, a so-called criminal authority in the Pankisi Valley while Margoshvili had been under criminal search since 1992. Besides, a criminal case on kidnapping has been initiated against him recently. “No one ever cared about arresting Margoshvili. As it has been said, Margoshvili has definite information the police does not want to be open to the public”, the newspaper states.
On the other hand, in the exclusive interview given to the informational agency “Inter-Press”, which was published in the press today, Margoshvili claims that the law enforcement agencies do not protect him.
The public detached force formed in Kakheti (eastern part of Georgia) demand that the law enforcement agencies enforce special operations and arrest criminals in the valley. “Is not Kakha Targamadze (the Interior Minister) late, while he is still scared of initiating special operations?.. Why were not they initiated and enforced earlier?”- “the Resonance” wonders.
Common Kist population has bad attitude towards the law enforcement bodies also. Besides, according to Khizri Aldamov, official representative of Chechnya in Georgia, Kists and refugees from Chechnya living in Pankisi are planning to hand Vepkhia Margoshvili to the police (but are not the police and Margoshvili in alliance?)
Elene Tevdoradze, head of the human rights defense committee in the Parliament, told “the Alia” that she has been informed about two Spanish businessmen kidnapped in the Pankisi Valley last year. “They are alive and I found out why they have not been released for such a long time but I am afraid I cannot say anything. The criminals warned me that they would destroy my family in case I do”, Elene Tevdoradze announced. The only thing she said was that the case of Spanish businessmen has been related to the police.