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Monday, May 27, 2024

Georgia: President announces pardon for jailed activist Lazare Grigoriadis

Salome Zourabichvili the President of Georgia announced to pardoned the activist Lazare Grigoriadis. who was sentenced to nine year.

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Salome Zourabichvili the President of Georgia announced to pardoned the activist Lazare Grigoriadis. He was sentenced to 9 years in prison for violent acts during the last year’s protests against the foreign agents law.

While announcing her decision President Salome Zourabichvili said “I have decided that this young man cannot serve a 9-year sentence. I have not yet signed an order for his pardon but the decision has been made. I was all thinking about it for several days, but until there was a verdict, I couldn’t say anything with clarity”.

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It is to be added that Lazare Grigoriadis then 21 years old has been in prison since last year. He was only person who was arrested for the March 2023 protests.

Last year from March 7 to 9, 2023, massive rallies against the “foreign agents” law took place in Tbilisi. Lazare Grigoriadis is accused of committing a serious criminal offense during those protest rallies.

The accusations against him include inflicting bodily harm on police officers and destroying state property. According to the investigation on March 7, Grigoriadis threw Molotov cocktails at the police twice, and then on March 9, he set fire to a police car.

It is also noteworthy that even before the case was discussed leaders of the “Georgian Dream” including former and current prime ministers Irakli Garibashvili and Irakli Kobakhidze gave statements against Grigoriadis.
On the contrary Lazare also filed a lawsuit against them, seeking compensation for moral damages but the court dismissed it.

The prosecution used the footage to prove the crime in which a masked man wearing a cap and a hoodie is visible. The mask was making it impossible to identify him. Similarly the expert who identified Grigoriadis in the video and wrote a “categorical conclusion has only two years of work experience. Grigoriadis himself and his defense claim that he did not throw the Molotov cocktail but the court dismissed this plea and found him guilty.

The opposition parties criticized the ruling party for intentionally making him guilty for political interests.

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