One More Police Officer Charged for Exceeding Powers during Tbilisi Protests

One more Interior Ministry officer has been charged for exceeding official powers during the dispersal of the anti-occupation rally outside the Parliament building on Rustaveli Avenue on June 20-21.

The Prosecutor’s Office stated on August 27 that the officer exceeded his official powers and physically assaulted a person, which was detained for committing an administrative offence.

According to the Prosecutor’s Office, investigation has been launched under article 333 of the criminal code of Georgia, involving exceeding official powers and punished by imprisonment for a term of five to eight years, or the ban on holding public positions for up to three years.

A group of opposition and civic activists gathered in front of the Parliament of Georgia, condemning the Russian delegation’s presence at a session of the Inter-parliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy in the parliament’s plenary chamber on June 20.

Tensions mounted around 10pm Tbilisi time on June 20, when part of the protestors tried to break through the first cordon of the police, but were pushed back by the riot police. Situation remained tense overnight.

240 people, including 80 police officers and 12 journalists have been treated for injuries. Many severe injuries to civilians occurred later during the night after the police dispersed protestors through massive use of tear gas and rubber bullets, including so called “less-lethal” rounds.

Investigation into the fact of exceeding official powers by law enforcement officers during the June 20-21 protest rally was launched on June 24. The Interior Ministry announced later that day that ten law enforcers, who took part in the clash on Rustaveli Avenue, were suspended from their official duties pending inquest.

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