DRI: The right to a fair trial is being violated in relation to the case of Lazare Grigoriadis
Georgian Dream again intends to pass the Russian law, which will destroy free and critical opinions in Georgia. The adoption of the draft law will block the path of the people of Georgia to the European Union.

Today, Tbilisi City Court will announce its final judgement relating to the case of Lazare Grigoriadis, who was arrested during the protests against the Russian law "On Transparency of Foreign Influence". The final hearing, which was supposed to be held on February 26, was postponed to March 28 due to the judge's vacation. Lazare Grigoriadis filed a motion for remote participation in the process, which was rejected by the judge and the session was postponed.

The Democracy Research Institute presumes that the ongoing trial against Lazare Grigoridis is of a political nature. This opinion is supported by the fact that the Prosecutor's Office "revived" the case conducted against Lazare Grigoriadis in 2021 (Violent action against a family member and damage to another person’s property), when the nine-month period of the pre-trial detention relating to the case of March protests was about to expire. Moreover, despite the availability of alternative punishments, the Prosecutor's Office requested the strictest measure of punishment - detention, which the court granted.

The "revival" of the old case by the Prosecutor's Office and the court's decision call into question the protection of Lazare Grigoriadis’ right to a fair trial. The Constitutional Court, in the case of "Citizen of Georgia Giorgi Ugulava v. the Parliament of Georgia", noted that the Constitution considered it inadmissible to manipulate the 9-month period of pre-trial detention, to artificially extend the said period by various formally legal methods and grounds, as artificially extending the detention period contradicted the good protected by the right to a fair trial enshrined in the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.[1]

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On March 31, 2023, Tbilisi City Court ordered pre-trial detention for Lazare Grigoriadis, who was arrested in connection with the March 7-9 protests. The Prosecutor's Office filed charges against Lazare on the basis of part 2 of Article 3531 of the Criminal Code (Harming the police officer's health in connection with the official activities of the police officer) and subparagraph “a” of part 2 of Article 187 (Destruction of another person’s property by setting fire). Pursuant to the Code, the said crime is punished by prison term of 7 -11 years.
[1] Citizen of Georgia, Giorgi Ugulava v. the Parliament of Georgia, available at: