Prosecutor’s Office Says June 20-21 an Attempt at ‘Violent overthrow of government’
The Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia said on July 4 that the collected material evidence as well as testimonies of “tens of witnesses” prove that a group of individuals plotted “a violent overthrow of the government followed by seizing of power” during the rally outside the Parliament building on June 20-21.
In a statement released today, the Prosecutor’s Office said that the first phase of the planned coup involved storming of the Parliament, which was to be followed by “criminal actions” throughout the country, that were “neutralized” through efforts of the law enforcement officers. No further specifics were given.
The Prosecutor’s Office noted that the new evidence led to aggravating the potential charges. The original investigation was launched under Article 225 of the Criminal Code which covers leading, inciting and participation in mass violence. To that the investigation under Article 315 of the Criminal Code of Georgia – “Conspiracy or insurrection aimed at changing the Constitutional order through violence” – specifically part 3, which foresees these actions that led to death or serious injury and is punishable by prison terms from 15 to 20 years.
According to the Prosecutor’s Office, investigation into the case of MP Nika Melia of the opposition United National Movement (UNM) party, who has been charged for inciting and heading mass violence on the night of June 20-21, is still underway and that about 60 persons have already testified.
Gigi Ugulava of the opposition European Georgia party, Irakli Okruashvili of New Political Movement “Victorious Georgia” and Gia Baramidze of the National Movement have also been summoned for questioning into the same case.
The Prosecutor’s Office said that investigation has also been underway on alleged abuse of power by law enforcement officers, adding that about 170 individuals, including injured citizens and media representatives have already been questioned.
A group of opposition and civic activists gathered in front of the parliament of Georgia, condemning the Russian delegation’s presence at a session of the Inter-parliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy in the parliament’s plenary chamber on June 20.
Tensions mounted around 10pm Tbilisi time last Thursday, when part of the protesters tried to break through the first cordon of the police, but were pushed back by the riot police. Situation remained tense overnight.
240 people, including 80 police officers and over 30 journalists have been treated for injuries. Many severe injuries to civilians occurred later during the night after the police dispersed protesters through massive use of tear gas and rubber bullets, including so called “less-lethal” rounds.
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