Microfinance organisation attacker denied bail

The crime is punishable from nine to 14 years in prison. Photo: IPN.

Agenda.ge, 23 Nov 2020 - 13:10, Tbilisi,Georgia

Attacker of microfinance organisation Levan Zurabashvil, who took hostages and demanded changes to the country’s legislation concerning loan issuance and gambling, has been denied bail. 

At today's trial, the defense asked for Zurabashvili’s release on 1,000 GEL bail.

Zurabashvili did not pose a threat to anyone. He wanted the protest to be made public and journalists to come to hear his position,” said Giorgi Chochua, Zurabashvili’s lawyer.

As soon as he entered the building, he said, do not be afraid, I will fight for you,” the lawyer noted.

The state prosecution in turn said that the crime committed by Zurabashvili belongs to a particularly serious category, and thus asked he be remanded into detention until his trial date.

Chochua noted that Zurabashvili was holding a grenade-shaped lighter to draw the attention of journalists. The phone numbers of TV stations were found written on his hand so that he could call journalists, he added.

A psychiatric examination of Zurabashvili has been scheduled.

Levan Zurabashvili, 31, attacked microfinance organization Micro Business Capital (MBC)  in central Tsereteli avenue Tbilisi around 5 p.m. on November 20.

He took 19 individuals hostage, and demanded three laws be passed:

  • First, prohibit gambling throughout Georgia
  • Second - for banks to limit the interest rate on loans to seven per cent annually and the interest rate of already issued loans to be brought down to seven per cent
  • Third – to decrease the price of medications and pharmacies to only be allowed to receive 10 per cent profits out of selling medicines

After negotiations with law enforcers Zurabashvili released all the hostages gradually.

The detainee  was charged by the Prosecutor's Office of Georgia with hostage-taking.

The crime is punishable from nine to 14 years in prison.