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Three Tbilisi Sakrebulo Members from Ruling Party Charged over Violence against Opposition Member

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The Prosecutor’s Office has charged three members of the Tbilisi City Council (Sakrebulo) from the ruling Georgian Dream (GD) party – Alexander Khujadze, Avtandil Tsintsadze and Tarash Shurgaia – over group violence against opposition Sakrebulo member, Levan Khabeishvili.

The investigation has been launched under article 126 of the criminal code of Georgia, involving group violence and punished by a fine or community service from 180 to 240 hours or imprisonment for up to two years.

Incident took place at Sakrebulo on January 24, during a joint session of the Commissions for Education and Culture, Sports and Youth Issues, and Audit. The Georgian Dream members physically insulted Levan Khabeishvili with the latter sustaining injuries in his face.

The confrontation continued in the foyer where Levan Khabeishvili assaulted Irakli Zarkua, deputy chairman of the Sakrebulo. The Interior Ministry launched investigation into the incident after several days.

In its statement released on January 31, the Prosecutor’s Office noted that Levan Khabeishvili has also been summoned to the Prosecutor’s Office for questioning in connection with the fact of violence by him against GD lawmaker, Irakli Zarkua.

It emerged later on January 31 that the Prosecutor’s Office also brought charges against Levan Khabeishvili over “the violence” carried out by him against Irakli Zarkua.

The Prosecutor’s Office has already filed a motion to the Tbilisi City Court on using a bail as a measure of punishment against Khabeishvili.

Levan Zhorzholiani, chairman of Sakrebulo’s Legal Issues and Human Rights Commission, said that despite charges, the Sakrebulo members will continue fulfilling their duties. “Members of Sakrebulo will be suspended from office only in case of their imprisonment,” he added.

Alexander Khujadze, Avtandil Tsintsadze, Tarash Shurgaia and Levan Khabeishvili joined Tbilisi Sakrebulo after the 2017 local elections.

This post is also available in: ქართული (Georgian) Русский (Russian)

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