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Georgian Man Jailed For Fighting Alongside IS Militants In Syria

  • RFE/RL's Georgian Service

TBILISI -- A court in Tbilisi has sentenced a Georgian citizen to 12 years in jail on charges of fighting alongside Islamic State militants in Syria.

The Tbilisi City Court on August 9 found Davit Borchashvili guilty of being a member of a terrorist organization and participating in a terrorist organization's activities. He was sentenced the same day.

Borchashvili, a native of Georgia's Pankisi Gorge, was arrested in November after being deported from Turkey.

The Pankisi Gorge borders Russia's Chechnya region and is home to Muslims with ethnic ties to Chechens.

Pankisi Gorge native Tarkhan Batirashvili, known as Umar al-Shishani, was a top IS commander in Syria.

The so-called Islamic State said in July that Batirashvili was killed during a battle in the town of Al-Shirqat in northern Iraq.

Georgian authorities have said that some 100 Georgian citizens have joined IS militants in Syria and Iraq.