Opposition party MP Nika Melia charged with violence at Tbilisi rally

A member of the United National Movement Nika Melia has been summoned to the Prosecutor’s Office tomorrow. Photo: Parliament’s press office. 

Agenda.ge, 25 Jun 2019 - 19:47, Tbilisi,Georgia

A member of the United National Movement parliamentary opposition, MP Nika Melia has been charged with organising violence by a group, heading the group and participation in the violence during the June 20-21 rallies in Tbilisi, the Georgian Chief Prosecutor’s Office says.

The Prosecutor’s Office has already appealed to the parliament to ask for Melia’s detention.

Giorgi Kakhiani, head of Parliament's Procedural Issues Committee, says that the MP immunity of Melia, which prohibits searching or detaining a member of parliament without the permit of the legislative body, might be suspended tomorrow.  

The opposition say that rallies will continue until Interior Minister Giorgi Gakharia is dismissed and all the people detained during the rallies are released. For now more than 50 remain in custody from the initially detained 305. Photo: Nino Alavidze/Agenda.ge. 

An emergency bureau meeting is being held in parliament now regarding the issue.

If the charge is confirmed Melia faces six to nine years in prison.

The rally in Tbilisi on June 20 was sparked by the presence of Russian MPs in Georgia and an address of one of them from the seat of the Georgian parliamentary speaker, during the Interparliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy.

305 people were detained and 240 were injured during the rally.

The Georgian Dream ruling party and Interior Minister Giorgi Gakharia said that the “destructive opposition” used the “justified and sincere protest” of the Georgian people to stage provocations and trigger the unrest.

The government vowed that all those causing the violence and confrontation would be held accountable.