Court leaves three in pretrial detention on June 20 Tbilisi protest case

Moris Machalikashvili does not admit to the crime. Photo: IPN., 17 Sep 2019 - 23:02, Tbilisi,Georgia

Tbilisi City Court has left Moris Machalikashvili and two others-Ilia Memanishvili and Gogi Kurdovanidze in pretrial detention for possible incitement to violence during the June 20 rally in Tbilisi. 

Machalikashvili is a close relative of Malkhaz Machalikashvili, the man from Georgia’s Muslim-populated Pankisi Gorge whose son received a deadly injury during the anti-terrorist raid back in 2017. 

19 protestors and 2 police officers have been charged regarding the June 20-21 rallies in central Tbilisi, opposition MP Nika Melia and former Defence Minister Irakli Okruashvili among them.

Many of the charged have been sent to pretrial detention. 

The Georgian Chief Prosecutor's Office is investigating possible offences committed by law enforcers during the June 20 rally dispersal. Photo: Nino Alavidze/ 

The Tbilisi protests, which were sparked by the presence of Russian MPs in the Georgian parliament earlier on June 20, turned into a violent clash between protesters and police in front of the parliament of Georgia.

The Georgian Chief Prosecutor’s Office has launched an investigation into police actions during the rally dispersal. 

Then Interior Minister Giorgi Gakharia said in his televised interviews that the rally became “violent” starting at 10 p.m. following “a systematic and organised” attack on the parliament building on June 20.

Gakharia also said that he gave an order that the rally was dispersed after a part of the demonstrators decided to storm the parliament building.

The dispersal left 305 detained and 240 injured.