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Georgian court acquits priest accused of anti gay violence

by | Aug 3, 2013
anti LGBT demonstrators Tbilisi 2013-05-17

May 17, 2013, thousands of activists disrupted a peaceful protest against homophobia in Tbilisi. (Interpressnews.)

TBILISI, DFWatch–Tbilisi City Court on Thursday ruled that there is not enough evidence to prove the guilt of priest Tamaz Bichinashvili in the incidents of May 17, when clerics and their supporters dispersed a peaceful LGBT rally in Tbilisi.

When a few tens of human rights activists that day tried to hold a previously announced half-hour protest against homophobia, thousands of counter-activists appeared in the streets and prevented them from carrying out the event. The police rescued the LGBT activists from the spot, but there were several incidents, which resulted in almost 30 people being injured.

Police detained several people; two of them were priests. The court hearing, which was postponed several times, was eventually held on Thursday, and judge Merab Jorbenadze decided that there was not enough footage to prove the guilt of Priest Tamaz Bichinashvili.

The Prosecutor’s Office accused him of illegally interrupting a demonstration through use of violence and threats.

Other suspects are the cleric Irakli Basilaia and three civilians. Their trial will start on August 15.



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