Ex-defense Minister Okruashvili sentenced to 5 years in prison in June 20 rally case

Irakli Okruashvili served as prosecutor general, interior and defence ministers under the United National Movement government. Photo: IPN.

Agenda.ge, 13 Apr 2020 - 15:13, Tbilisi,Georgia

Former Minister of Defense Irakli Okruashvili has been found guilty in the June 20 rally case and been sentenced to five years in prison by Tbilisi City Court today.

Okruashvili was acquitted of organizing group violence, however, he was found guilty of participating in group violence.

Irakli Okruashvili was charged with incitement to group violence during the June 20 protests in Tbilisi, which is punishable by six to nine years in prison.

A total of 19 individuals were charged with group violence during the rally, including opposition United National Movement (UNM) member Nika Melia.

Leader of European Georgia opposition party Giga Bokeria said that Irakli Okruashvili was and remains a political prisoner.

Georgia and the world will deal with this pandemic, then we will have elections and if an agreement is not reached, one of the key parts of which is the freedom of all political prisoners, including Irakli Okruashvili, Giorgi Rurua and Gigi Ugulava, Ivanishvili will face the hardest fate”, said Bokeria.

Okruashvili served as prosecutor general, interior and defence minister under the United National Movement government.

After opposing former president Mikheil Saakashvili back in 2007, he was detained on corruption charges.

Okruashvili left for France several days after he was released, where he lived until 2012.

He returned to Georgia in winter 2012, shortly after the Georgian Dream leadership defeated the nine-year-rule of the United National Movement leadership.