Leader of breakaway South Ossetia, Leonid Tibilov, signed on December 31 a pardon for a former Georgian official, who was imprisoned since April, 2010.
Teymuraz Jerapov, an ethnic Ossetian was a former member of Tbilisi-based South Ossetian provisional administration – an entity set up by the Georgian authorities in 2006 designed as an alternative to Tskhinvali-based separatist authorities.
Jerapov was arrested in April, 2010; in November court in Tskhinvali found him guilty of “forceful seizure or holding of power” and sentenced him of 13 years in jail.
“By taking such a humane decision, which is an expression of good will, authorities of Republic of South Ossetia hope for reciprocity from the Georgian side on the issue of mutual release of citizens of South Ossetia and Georgia, held in detention facilities in Georgia and South Ossetia,” said a statement posted on the breakaway region’s website.
In June, 2013 Marek Dudaev, a resident of the breakaway region, was released from Tbilisi prison after his jail term was truncated as a result of amnesty. Release of Dudaev, who was arrested by the Georgian police in March 2004, was long sought by Tskhinvali. Court in Tbilisi found Dudaev guilty of murder, extortion and banditry and sentenced to 23 years in jail.