Abkhaz presidential aide arrested in Russia for crashing through border checkpoint in car
Aide to the President of Abkhazia Akhra Avidzba was arrested on October 3 in Sochi (Russian Federation).
A month earlier, he rammed the gates of the border checkpoint in the direction of Abkhazia from Russia when he was stopped at the border and told he would not be allowed to pass because he had outstanding debts in Russia.
While Avidzba was arrested for ten days, the Russian court did not take into account the fact that he had diplomatic status.
Who is Akhra Avidzba
Akhra Avidzba is a close relative of the famous Abkhaz thief in law Alkhaz Avidzba, one of those who was killed during the scandalous shooting at a restaurant in Sukhum in November 2019.
Akhra Avidzba fought in Eastern Ukraine on the side of the regions that unilaterally declared their independence from Kiev, and is known in Abkhazia as a person who has the title of ‘Hero of the DPR (Donetsk People’s Republic)’.
It was Akhra Avidzba who was the catalyst of the change of power in Abkhazia in January 2020. He led people in a storm on the presidential palace, which ultimately led to the resignation of the then President Raul Khajimba and new presidential elections.
On March 22, the leader of the united opposition, Aslan Bzhania, was elected president of Abkhazia. And so Akhra Avidzba became his assistant in international affairs.
The incident with the Russian border guards happened in early August 2020. Avidzba wanted to travel from Russia to Abkhazia, but he was not allowed to pass because of unpaid utility bills of about a million rubles [about $13,000].
In Sochi, the assistant to the President of Abkhazia has real estate and several cars registered in his name.
For about two hours Avidzba tried to convince the border guards that upon his return from Abkhazia he would solve the problem with the debt. When nothing came of it, he was driving his armored Land Cruiser, rammed the gates and drove onto the territory of Abkhazia.
The very next day Akhra Avidzba paid off the debt. However, a criminal case had already been opened against him.
President Aslan Bzhania and Secretary of the Security Council Sergei Shamba personally petitioned the Russian side to mitigate the punishment for Avidzba, who voluntarily appeared in court.
However, the Russian authorities did not accept Avidzba’s diplomatic status, as it turned out that he was not accredited in Russia as a diplomat.
For the offense he committed, a fine of up to 200,000 rubles [about $2.5 thousand] is provided – or imprisonment for a period of two years.
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