Mamuka Chkhikvadze’s sentence for drug smuggling and “illegal border crossing” in occupied Tskhinvali has been reduced to three years and eight months in prison, per Tskhinvali-based RES media.
In May 2022, he was sentenced to five years and six months in prison. At the time of his sentencing, the State Security Service of Georgia (SSG), stated “The illegal decision was preceded by the unlawful arrest of Mamuka Chkhikvadze by the Russian occupation forces and the fabrication of charges against him.” It asserted that Chkhikvadze’s ruling demonstrated once again “the inhuman and criminal nature of the occupation, for which the Russian Federation has full responsibility as a force exercising control over the occupied territories.”
According to RES, on August 4, the Tskhinvali “district court” found Chkhikvadze guilty of committing crimes under Articles 322 (1), illegal border crossing, and 229.1 (2), drug smuggling, of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation.
Chkhikvadze had reportedly been trying to smuggle more than four grams of marijuana into the occupied region. Per the article, the smuggling of narcotics can be punished in the region by a prison term of 3 to 7 years, and in some cases 15 to 20 years.