Irakli Bebua, an ethnic Georgian Gali resident arrested after setting fire on a decorative banner in Abkhaz flag colors on September 30, was sentenced to 30 days-long pretrial detention, Abkhaz media reported on October 1.
Abkhaz police are leading investigation against Bebua on charges of damage to someone else’s property, desecration of state symbols, and illegal storage of ammunition, envisaging penalties with imprisonment for a term of four to eight years, a prison term of up to two years, and imprisonment for a term of two to five years, respectively.
In a new turn of developments, law enforcement bodies of Abkhaz-controlled Gali district claim to have found a fragmentation hand grenade RG-42 – “ammunition suitable for the explosion” – after searching Bebua’s home.
The Gali resident was detained on September 30 shortly after having reportedly burned a decorative banner in the colors of the flag in front of the local government building, while the celebrations of “victory and independence day” were underway in the occupied region. The incident sparked a fiery backlash among Abkhaz social media users. Bebua said he acted on September 30 that marks the day of separation between the Abkhaz and the Georgians.
The State Security Services of Georgia issued a statement earlier today, calling for his immediate release.