UNM: Confrontation was triggered by persons in plain clothes

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"This is the government which is out of its mind, has gone totally mad and which seeks too oppress and destroy the political opposition by applying such methods, but they will get an absolutely opposite effect to what they are planning," MP Goka Gabashvili from the United National Movement (UNM) told journalists when commenting on the events that unfolded outside the Tbilisi City Court late night on 4 July.

According to Gabashvili, "neither the arrest of Gigi Ugulava, nor that of his father [the former ambassador to Italy Konstantine Gabashvili] and any UNM activist and supporter will bring a desired result to the government and a benefit to that schizophrenic [former prime Minister Bidzina] Ivanishvili and his subordinate [Prime Minister Irakli] Gariabshvili."

MP Goka Gabashvili described the arrest of his 70-year-old father for minor hooliganism and resistance to patrol police without any ground as "stupidity and silliness." According to him, "those frenzied police officers" had been instructed to arrest him. Gabashvili branded this fact "a revenge of little men."

The foreign relations secretary of the UNM, Giga Bokeria, said that the confrontation was provoked by plainclothes persons outside the Tbilisi city court who "behaved in an aggressive manner, like criminals."

According to the UNM MP Givi Targamadze one person behaved especially aggressively: "a typical policeman of Shevardnadze vintage dressed in plain clothes was either drunk or under the influence of drugs and absolutely rude. He was threatening me personally very enthusiastically and I will try to make him see what the price of these words is. I do hope that we will expose him by all means and ensure that he is personally held liable because all this turmoil was triggered by him," Targamadze said.

On 4 July, the Tbilisi City Court remanded the former Tbilisi Mayor Gigi Ugulava in pretrial custody. This decision triggered a confrontation between the police and supporters of the United National Movement outside the court. The police detained nine persons for minor hooliganism and resistance to police. Among the detainees were the UNM MP Levan Bezhashvili, who was later released under written undertaking, and the former ambassador to Italy Konstantine Gabashvili. Eight persons are detained now. The investigation is conducted under articles 166 and 173 of the administrative code which envisages the fine as punishment.

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