Person accused of attempted assassination of former Abkhazian president surrenders to authorities
On the evening of 26 September, Pavel Ardzinba voluntarily surrendered to the General Procecutor’s office of Abkhazia. Ardzinba, who has been on the wanted list since 2012, was previously charged in absentia with organizing an assassination attempt on the now-former president of Abkhazia, Alexander Ankvab.
As was stated in the press-release of the Prosecutor’s Office, Pavel Ardzinba, after voluntarily surrendering, was interrogated and sent for further detainment at a temporary detention facility of Abkhazia’s Ministry of Internal Affairs.
Two months later, investigators disclosed that a criminal group created in 2007 was involved in the crime, and also directly related to several assassination attempts on Alexander Ankvab. Ten of its members were charged.
One of them was the former Minister of Internal Affairs, Almasbey Kčach, who committed suicide during his detention by hanging himself in an isolation ward. Two of the defendants in the case, Pavel Ardzinba and Rusbay Bartsiz, managed to escape.
The trial, which began in 2013, lasted four years. As a result, participants of the criminal group received various sentences, from 13 to 20 year terms of imprisonment. According to Pavel Ardzinba, his decision was motivated by the fact that he was wanted, and that the Supreme Court had not given him a sentence, but rather singled out his case for separate proceedings.