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«An Eye for an Eye», or Exchange of «Everybody for Everybody»2009-11-27 18:16
Today the Ossetian authorities repeated their proposal to exchange prisoners on the principle «everybody for everybody». Georgia does not want even to hear about this proposal, seeking for some influence of international organizations on Tskhinvali. Yesterday the Georgian mass media reported that the decision on the liberation of the teenagers arrested in South Ossetia on 4 November has already been made.
Yesterday the Georgian agency «Medianews» with reference to a certain Ossetian journalist Temur Khurabedov announced some sensational news. It said that it had been decided to free the teenagers about which mass media have been speaking so much for two weeks.
Fourteen-year-old Georgy Romelashvili and Aleko Sabadze, sixteen-year-old Viktor Buchukuri and seventeen-year-old Levan Khmiadashvili were arrested by the South Ossetian police on 4 November. They are accused not only of border crossing but of storing explosives, and one of them even of theft of weapons.
The boys were enclosed in the pre-trial detention center according to a decision of the court which chose two months under arrest as a restrictive measure. So may see the New Year in from prison. However, yesterday the press service of the General Prosecutor's Office of South Ossetia said that the investigation on this criminal case has been over and sent for trial.
The authorities of South Ossetia gave no reason to say that this time they will free the teenagers detained on suspicion of having committed criminal offence as fast as, for example, the woodcutters in October and about 80 more Georgians detained for crossing the border this year.
But recently South Ossetian officials said more than once that they suggested an "exchange of everybody for everybody" to Georgia. First the ambassador of the president for post-conflict settlement Boris Chochiev said that that option was discussed during the last round in Geneva. And today the Chairman of the Parliament Stanislav Kochiev confirmed the Ossetian interest in the exchange of detainees.
However, Shota Utiashvili, Chief of the Information & Analysis Department of the Georgian Ministry of Internal Affairs Shota Utiashvili disproved Chochiev's words. «The representatives of the Tskhinvali regime did not suggest exchanging «everybody for everybody». No exchange was discussed at all. The discussion parties demanded that Ossetia and Russia should immediately release the detained teenagers», - he said.