Kakha Getsadze, head of a local municipality in Zestaponi in western region of Imereti, was arrested and charged with hooliganism and causing bodily harm year and a half ago when Getsadze was a lawmaker.
Getsadze was UNM majoritarian MP from Zestaponi before the parliamentary elections last month and was elected as head (gamgebeli) of Zestaponi municipality by a local council (Sakrebulo) at its chaotic session on November 2 during which supporters and several MPs from UNM and Georgian Dream, who were present at the session, where engaged in a heated confrontation about the election of municipality head.
Prosecutor’s office said that Getsadze was arrested in connection to an incident that took place in the village of Shorapani in Zestaponi municipality in May, 2011.
Prosecutor’s office said that during a feast in one of the local families, Getsadze provoked a brawl, beat up a person, inflicting him bodily injuries, and smashed with a handle of his CZ pistol a windshield of a car belonging to a local municipality, which resulted into GEL 1,550 financial damage.
Getsadze denies the allegations. He could face up to seven years in prison if found guilty, according to the Interior Ministry.
UNM condemned Getsadze’s arrest as part of “ongoing political retribution” by the new government.
“This is a clear sign that a massive attack is underway against local self-governance bodies, which are not controlled by the Georgian Dream,” Giorgi Gabashvili, a senior UNM lawmaker, said.
He said that heads of various municipalities in the provinces were “pressured” by the authorities to resign otherwise threatened with legal proceedings including through launch of financial probe.