18 December 2009, 15:00
Week in the Caucasus: review of main events of December 7-13
Adjudgment on Magomed Evloev's murder; interrogation of Chechen President under the criminal case against the head of the HRC "Memorial" Oleg Orlov; presidential election of Abkhazia, - look up these and other events in the review of the week of December 7-13 in Caucasian regions prepared by the "Caucasian Knot".
Ingushetia: court passes verdict on Evloev's murder
On December 11, Murat Tungoev, Judge of the City Court of Karabulak, sentenced Ibragim Evloev, the defendant in the murder case of Magomed Evloev, owner of the oppositional website "Ingushetia.Ru", to two years of imprisonment in a colony-settlement.
The prosecution party was completely satisfied with the sentence; however, Magomed Evloev's family plans to appeal against the verdict; and advocates will prepare the protest after consulting Magomed's father. The Evloevs' family advocate Magomed Gandarov did not exclude application to the European Court.
President of Chechnya interrogated on Orlov's case
On December 8, following instructions from Moscow, President of Chechnya Ramzan Kadyrov was interrogated in Grozny under the slander criminal case initiated against Oleg Orlov, head of the Human Rights Centre (HRC) "Memorial". Initially it was planned to interrogate Mr Kadyrov in Moscow.
Kadyrov's lawyer Andrei Krasnenkov has reported that the interrogation of the President by a Chechen inspector lasted for about 4 hours, and the materials of the interrogation were sent have to Moscow. The lawyer gave no details, referring to nondisclosure obligation.
President elected in Abkhazia
On Saturday, December 12, Abkhazia held presidential election. Those who ran for the republic's leadership were: incumbent President Sergey Bagapsh, ex-Vice-President Raul Hadzhimba, Chairman of the Party of Economic Development Beslan Butba, head of the state-owned "Abkhazian Sea Shipping Company" Zaur Ardzinba, and Academician Vitaly Bganba, Doctor of Philosophy and Economy.
In total, 174 polling stations were opened in Abkhazia; two more - in Russia: in Moscow and in Cherkessk. 127,000 voters were in the election list.
According to the preliminary data of the Central Electoral Commission (CEC) of Abkhazia, announced on December 13, Bagapsh was much ahead of his rivals with 59.37 percent of votes. The runner-up was Khadzhimba - 15.4 percent, then, Ardzinba - 10.6 percent, Butba - 7.9 percent, and Bganba - 1.5 percent. The voter turnout was 73.4 percent.
Raul Hadzhimba spoke about gross violations during the election and his intention to appeal against the voting totals. In his turn, Batal Tabagua, head of the Abkhazian CEC, reported that there were no violations, which could essentially affect the voting outcomes.
The authorities of Georgia treated the December 12 presidential election in Abkhazia as a "rough violation of sovereignty" of Georgia and its legislation." The CEC of Georgia has confirmed the non- legitimacy of these election.
South Ossetia receives promises of recognition and non-recognition
Last week, South Ossetia was visited by the delegation of the smallest state in the world - the Republic of Nauru. The aim of the visit was to get acquainted with South Ossetia on the eve of consideration by the parliament of Nauru of the issue of recognition of the independence of South Ossetia. It is expected that the issue will be considered already at the winter session of the parliament of Nauru in the end of December. The authorities of Nauru plan to support the decision of South Ossetia to be an independent state, by having recognized is as such.
Meanwhile, on December 11, the Prime Minister of Ukraine Yulia Timoshenko, speaking live on air of the Donetsk TV Company "Ukraine", assured that neither she nor her team will ever recognize the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, as Ukraine supports the preservation of territorial integrity of Georgia.
In the meantime, South Ossetia has acceded to the 1961 Viennese Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961 and to the 1963 Viennese Convention on Consular Relations. The corresponding laws were adopted at the session of Parliament of South Ossetia on December 9.
Co-chairs of MG of OSCE visit Azerbaijan
On December 11, in the conditions of confidentiality, the co-chairs of the Minsk Group (MG) of the OSCE - Yuri Merzliakov (Russia), Robert Bradtke (USA) and Bernard Fassier (France) - visited Azerbaijan.
The co-chair had a meeting only with President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliev, where journalists were not admitted. There was no traditional meeting with the head the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan and a subsequent briefing. However, judging by the photo widespread by the official press of the country, the Minister of Foreign Affairs was present at the meeting of the co-chair with the President.
The co-chair said that in January they would make a visit to Armenia; and these visits would open the way towards the next meetings of Presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia in 2010 with the aim to coordinate the basic principles of Karabakh settlement.