TBILISI, DFWatch–Tbilisi City Court on Saturday released on bail a man suspected of beating a photojournalist and damaging his camera on March 4.
The suspect, who is around 21 years old, was released on a 3,000 laris (about USD 1,500) bail pending the first hearing in his trial on April 20.
Photographer Irakli Gedenidze, who is working for Interpressnews, was attacked and beaten during preparations for a demonstration organized by three small opposition parties against the government’s economic policy.
A young man was detained by police only hours later, accused of the crime.
Video showed that the father of the attacker held the victim while his son carried out the attack. The father later turned out to be a board member of Free Georgia, one of the parties that organized the demonstration. He stated publicly that his son was angry about being photographed.
At yesterday’s hearing, the Prosecutor’s Office asked to keep the 21 year old behind bars until the trial. The defense attorney asked for his release.
He is on trial for interfering with a journalist’s professional tasks, which is a serious crime in Georgia, punishable by up to two years in jail. In addition, he is charged with damaging another person’s property.
The Prosecutor’s Office plans to appeal the bail ruling.