TBILISI, DFWatch–A notorious Georgian neo-Nazi was found guilty and sentenced to three and a half years in jail by a Tbilisi court on Friday.
Giorgi Chelidze, the head of self-described “fascist” group “Georgian (National) Unity”, was convicted of illegally purchasing and storing firearms.
He was detained in September, 2018, and police said they found a cache containing 23 items of illegal ammunition, including bullets for Kalashnikov automatic rifles and machine guns, in his apartment.
Giorgi Chelidze has insisted he is innocent.
The police started a criminal probe into the case after the group circulated a video apparently filmed by themselves in which Chelidze and several young men are seen shooting with Kalashnikov rifles in a forest.
Giorgi Chelidze and his small neo-Nazi youth group leapt into prominence during a wave of protests in spring of 2018, against the brutal police crackdown on two major nightclubs in May that year.
Georgian Unity and some other radical groups staged a counter-rally against the club goers and the police barely managed to avoid a direct confrontation between the two groups of protesters.
Chelidze’s notoriety virtually soared after saluting in the manner of German Nazis at the court hearings in October.