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Court Sentences Georgian Neo-Nazi Group Leader to Imprisonment

By Tea Mariamidze
Wednesday, September 5
Tbilisi City Court has sentenced Giorgi Chelidze, the leader of the fascist, far-fight movement Georgian National Unity into pre-trial detention for illegal possession of firearms.

According to the court, the defendant illegally acquired 28 pieces of cartridges including 7,62 mm caliber one made in 1943 and other weapons.

The court says the decision was made to prevent the destruction of case proofs and avoid risks of hindering the investigation process.

Chelidze has five lawyers. They all say the court decision was ungrounded.

“We will appeal the decision during the given deadline,” one of the lawyers, Ketevan Vardiashvili says.

The arrested stated during the trial that his arrest aims at silencing him. He assures he bought the gun and the cartridges legally and he has the documents as proof too.

“If I was not allowed to fire or use these cartridges, why are they sold in general? This is ridiculous. They want to silence me,” Chelidze stressed.

Chelidze was detained on September 1, 2018, based on Article 236 of the Criminal Code of Georgia, which implies illegal purchase and keeping of arms. This article envisages from 2 to 5 years of imprisonment.

Ministry of Internal Affairs reports that during the searches of the detained man’s apartment, police seized different types of weapons and 28 cartridges.

The MIA launched the investigation after the movement published a video in the forest on August 27, where some of the radical group members are shooting from different firearms.

The name of the video is “Fascist Weekend,” and it says the movement members regularly do such exercises in the countryside every week.

Georgian National Unity is famous for their xenophobic, aggressive and nationalist calls against the foreigners most of all. They have organized several marches and rallies so far.