Parliamentary committees approve detention of opposition MP

Opposition MP Nika Melia faces six to nine years in prison if convicted. Photo: Nika Melia’s Facebook page., 26 Jun 2019 - 16:06, Tbilisi,Georgia

The Georgian Parliament’s Procedural and Legal Issues Committee has approved the suspension of MP immunity for opposition MP Nika Melia, giving a green light to the Chief Prosecutor’s Office to detain the legislator for possible incitement to violence during the June 20 rally in Tbilisi.

The final vote will take place later today at parliament’s plenary session and Melia might be detained for organising violence by a group, heading the group and participation in the violence during the June 20-21 rallies in Tbilisi

Six MPs from the Procedural Issues Committee approved the request on detention made by the Prosecutor’s Office later yesterday and one went against, while nine supported the decision from the Legal Issues Committee and three voted against.

The ruling party says that the opposition used the public's sincere protest.Photo: Nino Alavidze/

Georgia is becoming an authoritarian state. It is time to change the country’s name from Georgia into North Korea,” a member of the United National Movement opposition Zaal Udumashvili said.

Melia has called the charge “funny and invented,” saying that his possible detention has political grounds.

Bidzina Ivanishvili [founder of the Georgian Dream ruling party],who runs the country, is a slave of Putin. Thank's God everyone sees everything and that we are not in the information vacuum," Melia responded to the deciison of the commitees. 

Members of the ruling Georgian Dream party say that there is evidence of how Melia called upon peaceful protesters to storm the parliament building.

Georgian Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze has placed the responsibility on the opposition regarding the June 20 unrest, which left 305 detained and 240 injured.

He stated that the “destructive and irresponsible” calls and appeals by the opposition transformed “a peaceful and justified” rally in Tbilisi into unrest.

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.