Merab Chigoev: The Georgian side has not made any real steps

Thu, 12/05/2011 - 17:16

The next bilateral meeting of the representatives of South Ossetia, Russia and Georgia has taken place in the village Dvani under the aegis of the International Committee of the Red Cross. The target of the meeting, as earlier – is searching for the missing people, clarification of their fates. A participant of the meeting, the Deputy Plenipotentiary of the President of the RSO on the postconflict settlement Merab Chigoev is telling IA «Res» about the course and the results of the meeting. - The meeting was very long and lasted more than 5 hours.

As it is well known, in general we were in doubt if holding of this meeting would be reasonable within these frames, motivating our doubts that the Georgian side had not made any real steps. In turn, we have handed over to the Georgian side a body of the woman, -a dweller of the village Tamarashen, -who having escaped from the war in 2008 and crossing the river Liakhva had drowned. About two and a half years she was buried in the outskirts of Tskhinval, and when we found out it, we passed her body to the Georgian side without any terms. Unfortunately, not any counter step has been made on the part of Georgia. In due course the Committee of the Red Cross has assured us that it is necessary to hold this meeting and has declared that Georgia possesses the new information about the fate of the missing people and it will be uttered at the meeting. It has been announced at the meeting but, regrettably, the Georgian side has given the information we had known before. More exactly-some actions have being conducted. But earlier the independent experts of the European Commission have reported that these actions were organized by the same people of the law-enforcement bodies of Georgia who are suspected in kidnapping of our people. The question is about such actions as: interrogation of the witnesses, checking up, ostensibly, the place of the accident, entrust searching for the missing citizens of South Ossetia- Khachirov, Khugaev and Pliev- to the other law-enforcement bodies; and they have called it the «information, which they have shared with the South-Ossetian side". I repeat, we have much more earlier known this information, and it has been even commented by the independent European experts invited by the Supreme commissar of the European Council on human rights Thomas Hammerberg, who have called these actions in question too, so they were conducted by the same people, who were suspected in the kidnapping. We, in turn, have made an offer to do as many counter steps as the Georgian side does. We have already done the first steps. Today the odds are in favor of the Georgian delegation. We have passed them the remains of Tamara Zandakhidze without any terms. More than six month they have been preparing for studying the remains and certifying that these remains belong to Tamara Zandakhidze. We are ready to cooperate in this direction further on, but we are waiting for the counter steps on the part of Georgia. Regrettably, these steps are not done. We have also appealed to the Georgian side with the offer of rendering assistance in meeting of parents of the missing people-Khachirov, Khugaev and Pliev- with the public prosecutor and the investigation bodies, which have been leading the investigation on the fact. The Georgian side has agreed and if necessary, this meeting will probably take place in several days. In response to our proposal to the Georgian side concerning exhumation of the bodies buried near the village Tamarashen, we answered that we had already met Georgia halfway, and we were expecting the counter steps. Our citizens are invaluable for us and we are not indifferent in their fate. If exhumation of the bodies buried near the graveyard of Tamarashen is completed, the similar steps will have to be done in respect of our seven citizens: if they are alive we must have information about their whereabouts and if they are dead we have to be shown their burial place, and in this case we shall have to make the actions of medical nature to find out the truth with the assistance of the Red Cross. The Red Cross has offered to hold the next meeting in the middle of September. We have answered that there is much time before this event, and it is necessary to make the counter steps and we must search for the missing people actually, rather then write the formal reports, and if we have some progress in this issue, we’ll continue these meetings by all means.

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