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MIA arrests Okruashvili for group violence on June 20-21 rally

By Natalia Kochiashvili
Friday, July 26
Irakli Okruashvili, Georgian politician, former Minister of Defence during the previous government and, as of today, the leader of the party “Victorious Georgia” was detained yesterday under Article 225 of the Criminal Code of Georgia, which means organizing or participating in group violence. The case concerns the events of June 20-21.

In connection with the events of June 20-21, Irakli Okruashvili was interviewed on July 23 as a witness in the presence of magistrate judge.

The acting director of the Central Criminal Police Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Mamuka Chelidze, stated about it at a special briefing held the same day.

“Irakli Okruashvili was detained by the Central Criminal Police Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs regarding the events in front of the parliament on June 20-21, 2019, based on a judicial decision.” – announced Chelidze.

According to him, in the course of the investigation, it was established that during the violent storm on the parliament building, Irakli Okruashvili, together with the accompanying persons, called on the demonstrators and tried to invade the Parliament building violently. As stated by Chelidze, Okruashvili also participated in various group acts of violence.

Another four persons have been detained as well. They are accused of involvement in group violence, attack on the police force, and attempts of intruding into the building of the parliament. In particular, as stated by Chelidze, one of them inflicted a physical assault on the law enforcers, hammered their shield for the policeman and took an active part in various group actions. Another person physically confronted and attacked law inforces and dragged one of them into the masses of people. The third detainee is accused of being intensively violent during the rally, and the last one was said to be also distinguished with the extreme aggression against the police, as claimed, he verbally and physically abused law enforces and tried to break the cord by force.

It is noteworthy that 17 persons, including the Member of Parliament, Nikanor Melia, are accused of organizing, leading, and participating in group violence on the rally.

The Ministry of Internal Affairs intensively investigates the events undertaken in front of the Parliament on June 20-21 under Articles 225 and 315 of the Criminal Code of Georgia.

A special briefing was held at the party “Victorious Georgia” office. Party members evaluate Irakli Okruashvili’s detention as political persecution. The party announces protest rallies.

It’s not the first time for ex-minister as a defendant - Okruashvili was arrested on September 27, 2007, two days after he launched an opposition party and leveled a series of serious accusations against President Saakashvili. He was charged with large-scale bribery through extortion, money laundering, and negligence while serving as a minister. During the years there he was accused of 10 different cases.