Former Minister of Internal Affairs of Abkhazia appointed new head of State Security Service
Resignation of the Minister of Internal Affairs of Abkhazia
In Abkhazia, the former Minister of Internal Affairs, who was recently implicated in a scandal that caused a political crisis, resigned from the office but was later reappointed as the Head of the State Security Service.
Talks about Dmitry Dbar’s reappointment to the position started last week when President Aslan Bzhania conferred the general rank to the former head of the State Security Service, Zurab Zantaria.
In Abkhazia, such an extravagant title is usually awarded prior to an ‘honorary resignation’, thus, social media users discussed the possibility of Zantaria’s resignation and consequent appointment of Dmitry Dbar to his position.
With such a personnel reshuffle, President Aslan Bzhania is trying to bring down the wave of protest that arose after the beating of MP Harry Kokaya and his fellow countrymen from the village of Adzyubzha, veterans of the 1992-93 Georgian-Abkhaz war, by the police.
On September 30, the day when the republic celebrated the anniversary of the victory in the Georgian-Abkhaz war of 1992-93, Harry Kokaya, together with his fellow villagers, celebrated in one of the restaurants on the Sukhumi embankment. After the feast, on the street, he fired several shots into the air with a pistol to celebrate the occasion.
Minister of Internal Affairs Dmitry Dbar with his deputies and the riot police immediately appeared at the scene. As a result, one violation of the law turned into another. The police beat up the deputy and his compatriots, after which they left, and the beaten Ajubzhins were then taken to hospitals by their relatives.
The next day, protesters gathered in front of the parliament demanding the immediate resignation of the Minister of Internal Affairs and his deputies involved in the incident on the embankment. Because of the protest, President Aslan Bzhania was forced to interrupt his working visit to Moscow and, while an investigation was underway, temporarily removed Minister Dmitry Dbar and two of his deputies, Rash Tsvizhba and Dadyn Chachkhalia, from their positions.
The Prosecutor General’s Office launched a criminal case against Deputy Ministers Rash Tsvizhba and Dadyn Chachkhaliya. The charges they are faced with are punishable by 5-10 years in prison.
However, the investigating authorities found no evidence of Dmitry Dbar actually breaking the law, although in his report, Attorney General Adgur Agrba recommended the president to dismiss the interior minister. However, the president did not dismiss Dmitry Dbar and allowed him to return to the office in early November.
This decision led to an acute political crisis – the unification of the entire Abkhaz opposition and the beginning of a series of protests, the ultimate goal of which was to gather a People’s Assembly and send Aslan Bzhania into early retirement.