The announcement came two days after Georgian Patriarch Ilia II appealed to his Russian counterpart, expressing regret that Tatunashvili’s parents were unable to “lay him to rest in a Christian manner,” and seeking his mediation “with respective government bodies,” so that the man’s body would be released to his family.
“Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill said he would take part in addressing the issue of the transfer of Archil Tatunashvili’s body to his family, and would make every effort to make it happen as soon as possible,” the Georgian Patriarchate said in its March 4 statement.
The Georgian Patriarchate also noted that Tatunashvili’s body “was currently being examined,” and that it would “be repatriated to Georgia by the Red Cross,” apparently from the Russian Federation.
Earlier, Tskhinvali authorities had claimed Tatunashvili body would remain in the region until an “independent examination” of Tskhinvali autopsy’s materials was conducted in Russia.
Also on March 4, Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili said, citing “information received in the last few days and hours,” that it was “reasonable to state” that Tbilisi’s efforts “will yield results and we will be able to lay our compatriot to rest in the immediate future.”