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Formula TV Crew Assailant Sentenced to 1-year in Prison

The Tbilisi City Court sentenced Davit Velijanashvili to 1 year in prison on 23 October for his assault on the crew of government-critical Formula TV on March 17, 2022, according to media reports.

Velijanashvili had been accused of verbally and physically attacking journalist Nano Chakvetadze, as well as her cameraman and cameraman’s assistant, on the evening of March 17 as they tried to conduct an interview in a cafe in Tbilisi’s Vake neighborhood.

Velijanashvili was found guilty under Article 154(2) of the Criminal Code of Georgia, referring to the unlawful interference with a journalist’s professional activities through the threat of violence, and under Article 118, envisaging intentional less grave bodily injury, which was upgraded by the Judge to Article 122: the intentional grave or less grave bodily injury by exceeding the limits of self-defense.

Velijanashvili had been charged by the Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia under Article 156 (2a) and 154 (2) of the Criminal Code, respectively, which carried a maximum prison term of three years.

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