Two Convicted over Batumi Incident Given Early Release

Merab Gogoberidze and Irakli Chkhvirkia were arrested on a charge of coordinating unrest in March last year and subsequently sentenced to 18 monts in prison, but have now been given an early release after a decision from the Prison System Ministry’s preterm release council. 

Lawyer of the two convicted, Paata Shavadze, said that “positive recommendations” were taken into consideration in the decision. “We consider that eventually they should be recognized as innocent and should be acquitted,” Shavadze said. 

The incident began when a parking ticket issuance on March 11 2017 escalated to a violent protest, involving local residence, against what they said were “harsh” laws and practice of the police service. 

In total, twenty-one people arrested over this occurrence, eighteen of those who pled guilty and reached a deal with the court. One other convicted, Lasha Dekanadze, denied the accusations and was sentenced to 15 months in prison on hooliganism charges. 

By Tom Day 


07 March 2018 15:59