Judge sets stricter house arrest rules for Georgian DJ Michailo

Mikheil Todua was arrested in September 2013 for possession of 12 grams of MDMA and sentenced to 9 years in prison. Despite offering a plea agreement, he had to remain in prison for not having 20,000 GEL. During his time in prison, Michailo continued to work and released several music albums. He spent six years in prison. Photo: electronicbeats.net.

Agenda.ge, 11 Nov 2020 - 19:54, Tbilisi,Georgia

The imprisonment and the trial of Georgian DJ Mikheil Todua, better known under his artistic nickname Michailo,  were in focus of the public attention in Georgia as the discussion on the decriminalisation of the light drugs was very hot in 2013-2014.  Last week his new trial again became a hit story for the Georgian users of social media, dozens of them were waiting for the decision of Tbilisi City court even though they did not know Todua personally. 

He was arrested in September of 2013 for the possession of 12 grams of MDMA and was sentenced to nine years in jail. After spending six years in prison, the rest of his term was changed to house arrest.  

The National Probation Service requested the court to send Todua back to prison for violating coronavirus-related restrictions in the middle of October 2020. He was playing at the pre-election event of the Girchi opposition party’ on October  17 and the other closed event on October 13, 2020. 

The judge denied the request of the Probation Service and ruled that instead of having to be home between the hours of 21:00 – 08:00 as provided by in the original terms of his home arrest, he has to be home at 19:00.

Todua says his case has ‘political grounds’,as he told TV channel Formula that while signing a DJ contract with political party Girchi on October 16 to perform, he made an agreement with the National Probation Agency, which gave him permission to do so.

He also said that during the house arrest period, he was often involved in the preparation works for musical events at night club Rike-ze. 

This kind of activity had been considered as his official duty and the probation agency never prohibited him from such activities.

I took part in 28 events during the year and the court decided that the only event organized by Girchi was not suitable for me. The reason for it turned out to be the special decree of the Georgian government, which came into force on October 16,  prohibiting large scale events after 10 p.m.”, wrote Mikheil Todua in his Facebook post before his trial.

In his Facebook post Todua also mentioned that the probation service initially allowed him to attend events, though later his action was considered a crime.