The Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia (POG) today appealed to the Georgian Parliament to greenlight the detention of MP Nika Melia, the Chair of the United National Movement, the largest opposition party.
The move comes as the UNM Chair refused to pay an additional GEL 40,000 in bail, imposed on him after he publicly removed a monitoring bracelet during an opposition rally in November.
Melia said he had already paid an initial bail of GEL 30,000, which the Court ordered him to pay as he was charged with inciting and heading mass violence on the night of June 20-21, 2019 outside the legislative building on Rustaveli Avenue. Melia decried the increased bail as “political persecution.”
The Georgian Parliament has not yet decided on the matter. But previously, on June 26, 2019, the last Convocation of the Parliament revoked MP Melia’s immunity, to allow the Tbilisi City Court to rule a bail of GEL 30,000.
Subsequently, on July 2, the Court of Appeals upheld the ruling and additionally ordered the Prosecutor’s Office to monitor Melia’s movement through a special bracelet, the removal of which prompted the prosecutor to increase the bail.
Meanwhile, the previous Parliament on December 12, 2019, finally revoked Melia’s mandate, after the Court found him guilty of attempting to force the Cartu Bank into bankruptcy in 2013.
Nika Melia was elected to Parliament again, in the October 31 parliamentary elections through the United National Movement’s proportional party list. Despite the ongoing boycott, Melia still retains his MP mandate, as the ruling Georgian Dream party decided on February 2 to refrain from terminating the opposition mandates.