Investigation launched following assault on opposition politician

Giorgi Kirtadze, a member of the United National Movement opposition party, was attacked on Monday while on live television. Video grab, 20 Dec 2022 - 12:21, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgia’s Special Investigation Service on Monday confirmed an investigation had been launched following an assault on an opposition politician on live television earlier during the day.

Giorgi Kirtadze, the head of the United National Movement opposition’s representation in the western city of Batumi, had eggs thrown at him by an individual who assaulted the politician and called him a “traitor”.

The investigation is ongoing with an article involving violence on political grounds, which is punishable by either a fine, house arrest for a term of between one to two years, imprisonment for up to three years, or deprivation of the right to hold a public position or work on such for up to three years. 

Kirtadze, who was running for Batumi Mayor last year and currently represents UNM - the largest opposition group in the country - in the legislative body of the western Adjara autonomous region, accused the country’s State Security Service of inciting the violence. 

He said he had been making comments about the “current resemblance” between the governments of Georgia and Belarus in the wake of the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict when the individual attacked him. 

The opposition-minded Mtavari Arkhi TV said the suspect could be a member of the pro-Russian Conservative Movement, as Kirtadze was making comments for the media in front of their office.