Opposition Activist Kuprava Detained at General Prosecutor’s Office

Opposition activist Zviad Kuprava and another person were arrested on the morning of January 18 at the General Prosecutor's Office in Tbilisi.

The demonstrators were protesting the nomination of former Prosecutor General Irakli Shotadze for the post of Prosecutor General.

Kuprava threw a pair of trainers at the Prosecutor's Office yard in protest, which led to a confrontation with police, as a result of which he and another demonstrator were arrested.

The Interior Ministry said that both persons were detained under Articles 166 and 173 of the Code of Administrative Offenses, which envisages petty hooliganism and disobedience of the police.

The protests were sparked after former Chief Prosecutor of Georgia, Irakli Shotadze, who resigned on May 31, 2018, amid protests over the high-profile “Khorava Street” murder case involving teenagers, was again nominated for the vacant position of Prosecutor General of Georgia. 

He was nominated by LEPL Georgian Technical University.

Currently, there are 9 candidates nominated for the Prosecutor General position. Their names are public and the data is uploaded on the website of the Prosecutorial Council: pc.gov.ge.

Consultations and nominations will continue until January 17, 2020.

Shotadze's decision to resign came after the mass protests in relation to the Tbilisi City Court's verdict on the murder of two teenage boys in which two minors detained for the murder case were found guilty.

Two 16-year old schoolboys, Levan Dadunashvili and Davit Saralidze from Tbilisi Public School 51, were brutally stabbed to death during a street brawl in the city center on December 3, 2017. Dadunashvili died on the spot while Saralidze passed away in the hospital the next day.

The judge found one of the detainees guilty for the premeditated murder of one of the victims Dadunashvili, while another detainee was found guilty for the attempted murder of the second victim, Saralidze. However, the court failed to say who killed Saralidze.

After the court announced its verdict, Saralidze’s father, Zaza, went to the Prosecutor’s Office and demanded an answer as to who had killed his son, stating openly that he did not trust the investigation carried out and noted that there were too many questions left regarding the case.

Saralidze’s supporters gathered at the Prosecutor’s Office asked for “justice” and “a fair investigation.”

Shotadze said that the evidence submitted to the court by the Prosecutor’s Office would ensure a fair verdict on the case and all offenders would be punished, however, he had decided to leave his post due to the "humane side" of the latter issue.

Civil activist Zviad Kuprava, the head of the Law Enforcement Reform Center, was released from custody in November 2019. 

He was officially charged on February 19, 2019. The investigation established that he physically abused a lawyer in the yard of the Court, for which he was charged under Article 126 of the Criminal Code (violence).

At the same time, the investigation established that he verbally abused a judge in the court building on June 11, 2018, for which he was charged under Article 366 of the Criminal Code (disrespect for the court).

He was sentenced to prison for nine months.

By Ana Dumbadze 

Related Story: Court Orders GEL 1000 Bail from Zviad Kuprava

18 January 2020 14:18