The Tbilisi City Court fined three for raiding the offices of Tbilisi Pride, an LGBT equality organization, during the homophobic pogroms of July 5, 2021. The attacks on that day were directed against the Pride March, subsequently canceled amid Russian-friendly far-right attacks and the lack of police protection.
The Court fined each accused by GEL 5,000 (USD 1,700), equaling the amount of the bail they posted earlier. The fines were rendered under Article 160.2a.3a of the Criminal Code of Georgia, which punishes the violation of the domicile or of any other property, committed using violence by more than one person. As part of their sentence, the three will be deprived of the right to hold public office.
The lawyer for the defense, Shorena Kobidze, pointed out that the Court acquitted the defendants of more severe charges under Article 156.2 (persecution on the grounds of intolerance) and Article 225.2 (organized group violence).
Ana Subeliani, co-director of Tbilisi Pride, said in a Facebook post the ruling was “another absurd decision of this embarrassment of a court,” pointing out that the motive of hatred, as well as the fact of there being an organized group, was evident in footage filmed that day.
Pointing out that the ruling almost coincides with the anniversary of July 5, Subeliani stressed “we will remember [July 5] until the justice is served!”