TBILISI, DFWatch–A Georgian businessman was beaten at Tbilisi restaurant on Saturday and claims it was because of his support for Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Mikheil Khubutia, who is a member of Putin’s United Russia Party and has business in Russia, believes the incident is related to his political activity.
He says that four of the restaurant’s guards and the director organized a provocation against him and beat him. He also claims that the reason for the incident was his sympathies towards Russia and Putin.
But a lawyer representing the restaurant says it was a misunderstanding and claims that Khubutia is trying to cash in on the incident politically, and that the restaurant has no involvement in politics.
“This was deliberate and spontaneous provocation,” Khubutia says. “The director and the guards scolded me and Putin, and scolded Russia. Up to four people beat me, then threw me on the ground and continued beating me. They were sarcastic and mocking and all of this indicates that someone is training them. Thank God the police arrived quickly.”
Restaurant Tavaduri’s lawuer Akaki Chavleishvili told DFWatch that their guards prevented Khubutia from going up on the stage where a national dance was performed, as this is forbidden for guests. They didn’t even know who Khubutia was.
“Khubutia refused and hit a guard who approached him and Khubutia continued scolding. I will bury you in money. I am that kind of man. Do you even know who am I?” the lawyer quoted him saying.
The lawyer also claims that Khubutia insulted the female restaurant manager and physically injured her. She required minor medical treatment.
The Interior Ministry launched an investigation on the basis of article 125 in the Criminal Code about beating, refused to share further details.
The police confiscated footage from the restaurant’s surveillance cameras and questioned employees as well as Khubutia.
Apart from having business in Russia, Mikheil Khubutia is an active supporter of Putin. He formed the Union of Russia’s Georgians, an organization which tries to promote a Russian orientation in Georgia.
On October 10 this year he said live on a talkshow on Imedi TV that ‘the key of Georgia is in the hands of God and Putin’, which caused outrage in Tbilisi.
Earlier he financed a Tbilisoba event in Moscow which featured well-known Georgian pop stars.
Khubutia thinks Putin is the number one leader in the world and says that he uses personal relations with the Russian president for Georgia’s benefits. During every meeting with him he tries to protect Georgia’s interests.