Six people, including a member of the Tbilisi City Council, were arrested after a group of preservationists tried to break through police line, which was cordoning off the entrance into a construction site of controversial large-scale Panorama Tbilisi project on May 7.
All six were released several hours later. Tbilisi City Court fined three of them, including an independent member of the Tbilisi City Council, Aleko Elisashvili, with GEL 250 each for disobeying police orders. The court has yet to complete hearing into the cases of three others, also charged with disobeying police orders, among them Nata Peradze of Tbilisi’s guerrilla gardening movement.
Preservationist and environmentalist groups are strongly against of construction of multi-functional complex on the Sololaki hillside in the old part of the capital city, implemented by a company affiliated with billionaire ex-PM Bidzina Ivanishvili. Preservationist groups argue that this overscaled project, not far from Ivanishvili’s hilltop residence and the botanical garden, will destroy Tbilisi’s historic setting.
“No matter how many times they arrest me, we will anyway force this man [Ivanishvili] to return this land, which belongs to the people, to Tbilisi,” councillor Elisashvili said.