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Police Arrests Three for Beating and Threatening Journalist



The Georgian chief prosecutor’s office arrested three persons for beating and threatening Giorgi Gasviani, a journalist and a talk show host at Tbilisi-based Iberia TV, who accused the men of physical assault on December 19.

The prosecutor’s office said in its January 27 statement that, based on the court ruling, one acting policeman and two of his friends, of whom one was a former policeman as well, were arrested on charges of violence and threatening.

Gasviani said on December 19 that the incident took place in Borjomi, after his car slid on an icy road and three persons from the car coming from the opposite direction, including one drunken police officer, attacked him, beat him and threatened him at gunpoint not to disclose the fact.

The prosecutor’s office said on December 19 that initially, it was the police, which launched the investigation under the clause of the criminal code dealing with violence (punishable by restriction of liberty for up to two years or with imprisonment for a term of one to three years), but based on the journalist’s testimony, the case was transferred to the Samtskhe-Javakheti prosecutor’s office and an article dealing with exceeding official powers, committed with violence or use of firearms, was added to the case (punishable by imprisonment for a term of five to eight years, with deprivation of the right to hold an official position or to carry out a particular activity for up to three years). 

The last charge was, however, dropped later and the three were indicted with two charges - of violence and of threatening (punishable by a fine or community service from 120 to 180 hours or collective labor for up to a year or with imprisonment for up to a year).

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