The Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia (POG) announced on September 29 that it is investigating state border delimitation commission members, working on Georgian-Azerbaijani border demarcation, on suspicion of transferring lands to Azerbaijan.
The POG said that it started probing into the case following information received from the Defense Ministry of Georgia on August 17, according to which specific sections of the Georgian-Azerbaijani border were agreed upon inappropriately, against the country’s national interests.
“At this stage, the investigation is examining whether the Georgian commission in the Georgia-Azerbaijan delimitation talks acted in accordance with the law,” the Prosecutor’s Office stated. POG noted that dozen of persons have already been questioned regarding the criminal case and that there was also a cartographic examination conducted at the Levan Samkharauli National Forensics Bureau on September 9.
The POG is leading the investigation under Article 308 (1) of the Criminal Code of Georgia, involving a violation of the territorial integrity of the country, which foresees imprisonment for a term of fifteen to twenty years or life imprisonment.
Two-thirds of the border between Georgia and Azerbaijan has been agreed, while the remaining one-third of the border, where the medieval David Gareji Monastery complex is located, has yet to be agreed. Lack of agreement on where the border passes came into a sharp focus in April 2019, when Azerbaijani border guards restricted access to parts of the Monastery.
The border delimitation issue was high on the agenda during Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov’s recent visit to Tbilisi on September 24.
Georgian FM Davit Zalkaliani said after the meeting with his Azerbaijani colleague that Tbilisi relayed Baku with new cartographic materials, documents and expert opinions regarding David Gareji section. “These new developments may take this process in a new direction. I don’t rule out either, that the 2006-2007 agreement may need to be revised,” Zalkaliani noted.
Follow our tag to read more about earlier developments related to Davit Gareji Monastery Complex.
- 2019 August: Georgia-Azerbaijani Border Delimitation Experts Meet over David Gareji
- Gakharia, Aliyev Agree to Reopen Access to David Gareji Churches
- Orthodox Church: Issue of David Gareji “Remains Unresolved”
- Georgian, Azerbaijani Law Enforcers Meet over David Gareji