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Georgian Dream Member Arrested By Police after Gurjaani Incident



Aleksi Bejanishvili

Georgian Dream member George Natroshvili, a resident of Vachnadzeani village, was arrested by Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) officials in Gurjaani. Natroshvili was accused of assaulting Mako Chitinashvili, an employee at Gurjaani district administration.

According to Khaketi Information Centre, George Natroshvili is being held and interrogated by the police station.

Akaki Begashvili, head of Georgian Dream’s Gurjaani district office, told Kakheti Information Centre that George Natroshvili will be represented by lawyer Lola Tusashvili.

On July 22 Georgian Dream leader Bidzina Ivanishvili visited Khaketi region and met with natural disaster victims.

During his visit, Bidzina Ivansihvili was followed by several representatives of Vachandziani village administration and Real TV interns who were supporting the United National Movement, yelling that supporters of Ivanishvili were Russian agents. Mako Chitanashvili called Ivanishvili a ‘bastard’ several times, leading to a confrontation between Georgian Dream activists and Chitanishvili. One of the activists, George Natroshvili, hit Chitanashvili in the face and covered her mouth with his hand to try to stop her from shouting.

Lawyer Lola Turashvili was not allowed to meet with Natroshivili after his arrest. At the police station, Turashvili told Khaketi Information Centre  she wasn’t even given any information about the arrested person.

“They told me that the arrested person was in Gurjaani but I could not meet or see him. I showed the order but they wouldn’t even tell me who the investigator was” – said Lola Turashvili.

According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs’ (MIA) press office, Georgian Dream member George Natroshvili was arrested under Article 239, paragraph one of the Georgian Criminal Code.

The MIA’s statement reads: “On July 22 the Gurjaani branch of the Ministry of Internal Affairs launched an investigation into a violation by George Natroshvili of the Georgian Criminal Code’s Article 239, paragraph one. George Natroshvili verbally and physically abused Marine Chitanashvili.  The incident was witnessed by members of society. The case is investigated by Khaketi Police.” 

If convicted by the court, Natroshvili could be sent to prison for up to one year or pay a fine.

On July 23, Natroshvili’s lawyer said that the police had not yet questioned or  charged Natroshvili and that he was being held in pre-detention solitary confinement in Tealvi.

“So far we only know that he was arrested. George has not been questioned. We know that he was arrested for violation of Article 239, paragraph one of the Georgian Criminal Code. George Natroshvili is a natural disaster victim who lives in the village of Vachandziani. The roof of his house broke as a result of the disaster. He also suffered injuries from small pieces of glass when his windows broke. At the hospital they wanted 50 lari for an injection. On top of all this, the workers that were supposed to help rebuild the roof left him stranded,” said Lola Turashvili.

According to the latest information from Khaketi Information Centre, the Ministry of Internal Affairs stopped pursuing criminal charges and instead opted to charge Natroshvili under the administrative code. The Gurjaani court agreed and sentenced him to 30 days in prison.

The hearing was held on July 23 without the knowledge of Natroshvili’s family members and lawyers. George Natroshvili asked for his lawyer before the hearing started but Judge Nana Chalatashvili dismissed his request. The process lasted only 10 minutes.


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