Court Partially Acquits Gogi Tsulaia

The Prosecutor General’s Office of Georgia announced on 14 November that the Tbilisi City Court partially acquitted Gogi Tsulaia, a former member of the Free Georgia party, and sentenced him to 6 months in prison.

According to the Prosecutor, the Court sentenced Tsulaia to prison for violence that caused the victim physical pain under Article 126 (1) of the Criminal Code of Georgia but acquitted him of a violent act of a sexual nature under Article 138 (1) of the Criminal Code.

The Prosecutor’s Office noted that they plan to appeal the decision in a higher instance court.

Tsulaia’s lawyer, Valeri Gelbakhiani, told Netgazeti that Tsulaia is currently not in Georgia and plans to file for asylum in another country.

Tsulaia was arrested on 17 March 2021 in Tbilisi on charges of physically assaulting a woman. The Prosecutor’s Office later charged him with committing acts of sexual violence. On March 19, the Tbilisi City Court granted Tsulaia pretrial detention.

Tsulaia spent about three and a half months in pretrial detention before being released on a bail of GEL 6,000 (USD 2,214) on 1 July 2021. Accordingly, he currently faces imprisonment of a little more than 2 months.

Significantly, Tsulaia’s arrest was preceded by the airing of secret recordings on TV Pirveli in which Tsulaia was swearing at Bera Ivanishvili, Bidzina Ivanishvili’s son. As a result, the opposition alleged at the time that the pretrial detention for Tsualaia was linked to that recording and represented “selective justice.”

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