On February 10, two employees of the occupied Gali police department, Albert Zarakua and Vianor Abshilava, were arrested in connection with the brutal murder of Georgian citizen Temur (Vitali) Karbaia, RFE/RL’s Russian-language Ekho Kavkaza reported.
According to the report, the de facto Abkhaz prosecutor’s office has opened an investigation against three individuals. These include the two detainees and another person, David Kvekveskiri whose whereabouts are unknown. The investigation was opened under two articles of the Criminal Code: intentional infliction of grievous bodily harm by a group of persons, and abuse of power by violence with serious consequences.
According to Ekho Kavkaza, which cites the de-facto Abkhaz prosecutor’s office, on December 6, 2023, Kvekveskiri detained Temur Karbaia and conducted an illegal personal search. When Karbaia began using obscene language, Kvekveskiri allegedly beat him. Zarakua and Abshilava then joined in and physically assaulted Karbaia. The beating caused bodily harm to Karbaya in the form of blunt trauma to the chest on the left with a fracture of four ribs, bruising on the upper and lower eyelids of the right eye. He was taken to a temporary detention center until his release on December 7. Karbaia passed away on December 9 at Sokhumi hospital, where he had been transferred from Gali hospital the day before “due to poor health.”
The three were reportedly arrested in December in connection with the murder, but later released according to local Georgian media.