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Opposition Wants Criminal Proceedings Against 'Zugdidi Attackers'
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 30 Oct.'07 / 13:58

Opposition leaders said on October 30 those who have assaulted on opposition lawmakers in Zugdidi must be held responsible under the provisions of criminal code.

Court in Zugdidi sentenced two men to an administrative detention for 20 days and fined five others with GEL 400 for attacking opposition activists in Zugdidi on October 28. Two opposition lawmakers, Bezhan Gunava and Bidzina Gujabidze – both from the Conservative Party - were beaten up by a group of young men after the protest rally in Zugdidi in the region of Samegrelo.

“This was a grave criminal offence – an assault on political officials, which is punishable by prison sentences ranging from seven to twenty years in length or by life imprisonment,” Gia Tsagareishvili of the Movement for United Georgia party said on October 30, citing the article 325 of the Georgian criminal code.

“Mr. [Roland] Akhalaia [chief prosecutor of the Samegrelo region] should also be held responsible as he has not taken any actions [against perpetrators]; on the contrary, he was orchestrating the entire incident,” Eka Beselia, a lawyer and activists from the Movement for United Georgia party said.

Movement for United Georgia party was set up by ex-defense minister Irakli Okruashvili and it is part of a ten-party coalition jointly campaigning for the elections to be held in April, instead of late 2008. Protest rally in Zugdidi was part of this campaign.

Public Defender, Sozar Subari, said on October 30, that “administrative detention” against those responsible for attacking lawmakers and opposition activists in Zugdidi “was not an appropriate decision.”

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