UNM Member Davit Kirkitadze Arrested

Member of the United National Movement (UNM) opposition party Davit Kirkitadze was arrested by police on December 17 on charges of assaulting a police officer on the inauguration day of Georgia’s new President Salome Zurabishvili.

Vladimer Bortsvadze, Director of the Central Criminal Police, said Kirkitadze was detained related to the Velistsikhe incident, where the opposition protesters clashed with the police, under Article 353 (1) of the Criminal Code of Georgia, involving an assault on police officers or other representatives of the authorities or on a public institution.

Bortsvadze noted that an investigation into the December 16 incident is underway, adding it is not excluded that the list of defendants will be expanded.

The UNM claims that the leaders of the opposition came to the Gurjaani district, Kakheti region, to visit those injured in the Velistsikhe clash, which left several policemen and protesters injured.

The party says they were tracked by a car of employees of the State Security Service, who suddenly got out of the car and took Kirkitadze.

Kirkitadze’s lawyer, Giorgi Kondakhishvili, says that his defendant does not plead guilty and is on a hunger strike.

By Thea Morrison

18 December 2018 11:38