Court in breakaway Abkhazia found two local residents of predominantly ethnic Georgian populated Gali district guilty of “espionage in favor of Georgia” and sentenced them to lengthy prison terms, Abkhaz news agency, Apsnipress, reported on May 27.
Jemiko Okujava and Otar Jgarkava, residents of Tagiloni village, who were arrested in March 2012, were sentenced to 13 and 11.5 years in prison, respectively.
Apsnipress reported, citing a statement from the breakaway region’s security service, that the two men were recruited by the military intelligence unit of the Georgian Defense Ministry in February 2011; the two then allegedly recruited unnamed officer of the Russian Federal Security Service’s (FSB) border guard forces, deployed in Abkhazia.
The breakaway region’s security service said in the statement that during the period of its operation, “the spy network gathered and transferred to the Georgian side intelligence data about activities of the border guard service of the Russian FSB in Abkhazia”, including information about armament available at border guard outposts; call signs for border guard posts, as well as information about “individuals with whom the operative unit of the border guard service was working for the purpose of providing security on the state border.”
According to the Abkhaz security service, a serviceman of the Russian border guard service was arrested by the Russian FSB in Russia on March 12, 2012 and two residents of the Gali district were arrested by the Abkhaz side in Abkhazia three days later.