07TBILISI2545, DEMARCHE ON RELEASE OF SOUTH OSSETIAN PEACEKEEPERS

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07TBILISI2545 2007-10-09 11:53 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO4455
PP RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHSI #2545 2821153
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 091153Z OCT 07
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7872
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 4593

C O N F I D E N T I A L TBILISI 002545 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR EUR A/S DAN FRIED AND EUR/CARC 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/09/2017 
TAGS: PREL GG
SUBJECT: DEMARCHE ON RELEASE OF SOUTH OSSETIAN PEACEKEEPERS 
AND ABKHAZ SOLDIERS DELIVERED 
 
REF: STATE 141292 
 
Classified By: Ambassador John F. Tefft, reason 1.4(b) and (d). 
 
1. (C) On October 7 the Ambassador delivered reftel demarche 
to Georgian Foreign Minister Gela Bezhuashvili.  The 
Ambassador recommended that the Georgians release the two 
Ossetians and the seven Abkhaz they are holding after 
separate incidents in September.  Bezhuashvili said he had 
already recommended the release to President Saakashvili. 
The Ambassador familiarized Bezhuashvili with the arguments 
for release contained in reftel, and stressed the importance 
of releasing the prisoners as soon as possible. 
 
2. (C) On October 8, the Ambassador raised the issue of the 
prisoners with President Saakashvili.  Saakashvili said that 
the GOG is working toward release of the seven Abkhaz men. 
However, he was reluctant to promise the release of the South 
Ossetians, whom he described as "killers".  He fears that if 
released, they will go back and start fighting Georgians 
again. 
 
3. (C) Later on October 8, Bezhuashvili informed the 
Ambassador that the Russian government had by that time been 
told that the Abkhaz will be released, after some remaining 
legal issues have been resolved.  However, Bezhuashvili said 
Georgia still regards the South Ossetians as Georgian 
citizens, and as such, the GOG has jursidiction and may 
properly hold them in custody and try them for their alleged 
crimes.  The GOR argues they are Russian citizens.  The 
Georgians believe they must continue the prosecution of the 
South Ossetinas to support their position that they are 
Georgian citizens subject to Georgian law. 
 
4. (C) The Abkhaz remain in custody as of the afternoon of 
October 9 and we have no further information about when they 
may be released. 
TEFFT

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