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Court increases bail imposed on Nika Melia to GEL70,000

By Natalia Kochiashvili
Wednesday, November 4
Tbilisi City Court has discussed the issue of tightening the measure of restraint against Nika Melia, a Chairman of the United National Movement political council.

The court partially granted the motion of the Prosecutor's Office and increased the amount of bail imposed on Nika Melia as a measure of restraint to GEL70,000 instead of GEL100,000. The judge explained that the mentioned amount includes the previous bail - GEL30 000.

As an additional measure, Melia was forbidden to leave the state border of Georgia without prior notification and consent of the prosecution.

According to the judge's decision, the additional obligations applied to Melia last year were canceled. According to the judge, Melia knew that he was violating the rules of electronic monitoring. Melia was not present at the trial.

The Prosecutor General's Office has charged Melia with organizing, directing and participating in the June 20, 2019 events under Article 225 of the Criminal Code of Georgia. Melia is accused of ‘gang violence’ from June 20. Last year, he was sentenced to GEL30,000 bail by the court, banned from leaving home without informing the investigating authority, and from making public statements at a public gathering place. He was also deprived of his passport and ID card. On July 3, 2019, Melia was given an electronic bracelet, which he removed at a rally organized by the opposition on November 1st,after the parliamentary elections. The Prosecutor General's Office then appealed to the court to tighten the restraining order against Melia as a sanction for the removed electronic bracelet.

According to Melia's lawyer, the prosecutor's office was actually demanding a lighter sentence. “Because of disobedience, the prosecution should have demanded a more severe measure of restraint from the court, such as imprisonment.”

Nika Melia and his party, the United National Movement, along with other opposition parties, are relinquishing their official mandates in the 2020 parliamentary elections and are calling for re-election. Melia removed his electronic bracelet and threw it to a crowd gathered in front of the parliament building to protest: “I am not going to wear this bracelet anymore. It is a symbol of injustice, it is a violent bracelet.”