Moscow-backed Sokhumi authorities have introduced capital punishment for large-scale drug trafficking. The change came into effect on Sunday, March 1, Russian news agency TASS reported.
The bill adopted in April 2019 significantly raised the amount of fines for illegal drug trade. It also imposed capital punishment and confiscation of private property for offenders found guilty of drug trafficking in especially large quantities. However, given the 2007 moratorium on death penalty, the said measure will be commuted to lifetime sentence.
The regulation establishes possession and/or sale of 0,5 grams as a minimum weight threshold for methadone (reportedly the most widespread drug in Abkhazia), which may lead to life imprisonment. Life sentence won’t be applied to minors and women (who may be imprisoned for 7 and 15 years, respectively).
Currently, the Russian-occupied Abkhazia envisages capital punishment for several felonies, including premeditated murder, “subversion of constitutional order and state security”, as well as “military service crimes.” Death penalty is not applied to juveniles, women and men aged 65 and older.