According to the Interior Ministry, the suspect, identified by initials – L.M., assaulted Vardiashvili in the outsikirts of Tbilisi on September 15 and went into hiding. The Ministry said the detainee pleads guilty and says he attacked the editor by mistake.
“In the words of the suspect, several days before the attack, he was verbally and physically assaulted by two persons. According to L.M., several days after the incident, through social network he found a person with similar name and appearance, and arranged a meeting, met him and abused him physically,” reads the Interior Ministry statement.
Commenting the detention, Zurab Vardiashvili, who claims he was assaulted by a group of approximately seven men, said the police “is either covering up the assailants or are unqualified to bring charges against them.”
“This is not an attack only against me; this is an attack against the safety of every other citizen, this is an attack against the society as a whole, and I will spare no efforts to fight it, as a participant of this particular incident and as an ordinary citizen and a journalist,” he added.
Media professionals and civil society leaders have spoken out in solidarity to Vardiashvili, urging the authorities to conclude the case promptly and diligently.