On April 4, 2022, Tbilisi City Court announced verdicts in 3 of the 5 cases relating to the July 5 events. The court found all the accused guilty. All of them, except for Ushangi Datunashvili, have been sentenced to imprisonment.
Although judge Nino Elieshvili found 6 people guilty of involvement in organized crime in the episode of Lekso Lashkarava and Miranda Baghaturia, none of the organizers of the pre-organized, hate-motivated group violence committed on July 5 has been arrested as of March 2022. According to the observer of the Democracy Research Institute, a number of pieces of evidence pointed to the organizers’ criminal guilt at the stage of examining evidence during the trial.
Episode of Lekso Lashkarava and Miranda Baghaturia
TV Pirveli cameraman Lekso Lashkarava died on July 11. He became a victim of severe physical injuries inflicted by hate groups on July 5, while performing his duties near the Shame Office. Lekso Lashkarava had his facial bones broken after the attack, which necessitated surgery. 6 people were convicted by Tbilisi City Court in the case of violence committed against Lekso Lashkarava and Miranda Baghaturia on July 5.
Tbilisi City Court judge Nino Elieshvili found Akaki Nakashidze, Tornike Davlasheridze, Tsotne Chikhladze, Davit Kutaladze, Gia Giguashvili and Otar Gelashvili guilty of involvement in organized crime, as well as persecution (committed with violence or threat of violence that caused significant damage) and unlawful interference with the professional activities of a journalist that was committed through the threat of violence. The hate motive indicated by the prosecution in the indictment was not mentioned during the announcement of the verdict.
As for the accusations of health damage in the episode of Lekso Lashkarava and Miranda Baghaturia, the court found Akaki Nakashidze, Tornike Davlasheridze, Davit Kutaladze, Gia Giguashvili and Otar Gelashvili guilty of intentionally committing less serious crimes under aggravating circumstances, for which they were sentenced to 5 years in prison.
Tsotne Chikhladze's initial charge – intentional infliction of grievous bodily injury under aggravating circumstances (in relation to the victim's work, committed by a group) was reclassified as violence. Tsotne Chikhladze would have been sentenced to 7 to 10 years in prison if convicted of the initial charge.
Episode of Ilia Tvaliashvili, Vakho Kareli, Zurab Tsertsvadze and Tamar Tatarashvili (so-called moped episode)
Tbilisi City Court judge Konstantine Kopaliani found Zaza Chaava, Murad Devlarishvili, Geno Germanishvili, Giorgi Khechuashvili, Tedo Burduli, Giorgi Tsaruashvili and Giorgi Maghradze guilty of group violence. The judge reclassified the charges of participation in organized crime as violence, which carries the maximum sentence of up to 2 years in prison.
The court also found the defendants guilty of persecution (committed with violence or threats of violence that caused significant damage) and unlawful interference with a journalist's professional activities (committed with the use of threats of violence). No hate motive indicated by the prosecution in the indictment was mentioned during the announcement of the verdict.
Zaza Chaava injured a journalist of Rustavi 2 TV, Tamar Tatarashvili, with his own moped, and tried to hit other journalists with the same moped. The accused was identified by numerous witnesses. Geno Germanishvili, together with Giorgi Khechuashvili and Tedo Burduli, committed group violence against Formula TV photographer Vakho Kareli. They, along with the above-mentioned articles, were found guilty of intentional infliction of less serious health damage, committed under aggravating circumstances. All 3 of them - Germanishvili, Khechuashvili and Burduli - were sentenced to 3 years in prison.
Murad Devlarishvili, who abused Newpost photographer Zurab Tsertsvadze, was sentenced to 1 year in prison.
Tsotne Chikhladze, Giorgi Tsaruashvili and Giorgi Maghradze attacked a cameraman of the First Channel, Ilia Tvaliashvili. Unfortunately, the prosecution did not submit Ilia Tvaliashvili's medical examination report to the court, which led to the reclassification of a serious crime as a less serious crime. The defendants were sentenced to 1 year and 3 months in prison.
Episodes of Rati Tsverava, Tornike Mandaria, Dea Mamiseishvili, Datuna Akhaladze, Davit Koridze and other affected persons
Tbilisi City Court judge Nino Chakhnashvili found Romeo Kekutia, Giorgi Kakhiani, Giorgi Naskidashvili, Ilia Kebadze, Temur Kharauli and Ushangi Datunashvili guilty of group violence. The judge reclassified the charges of participation in organized group crime as violence, which carries a maximum sentence of up to 2 years in prison. The court also found the defendants guilty of persecution (committed with violence or threats of violence that caused significant damage) and unlawful interference with a journalist's professional activities (committed with the use of threats of violence). No hate motive indicated by the prosecution in the indictment was mentioned during the announcement of the verdict.
The episode of Romeo Kekutia includes violence against Formula One journalist Rati Tsverava. Apart from Romeo Kekutia, about 30 people abused Tsverava, although only Romeo Kekutia was convicted of violence against Tsverava.
Giorgi Kakhiani physically injured Radio Liberty journalists - Tornike Mandaria and Davit Koridze. Giorgi Naskidashvili's episode includes violence against Imedi journalist Dito Krimlishvili and cameraman Shota Mkervalishvili. Giorgi Naskidashvili was particularly aggressive during the court hearings.
Ilia Kebadze's episode includes violence against Datuna Akhaladze, a journalist of the Main Channel. Temur Kharauli also participated in the violence against Datuna Akhaladze and Dea Mamiseishvili. Ushangi Datunashvili was the only defendant in the case, whose pre-trial detention was later changed into bail. The court used GEL 5,000 as a penalty against him. Datunashvili's episode includes violence against Rustavi 2 cameraman Beka Atabegashvili. Zaza Mchedlidze physically injured Tabula journalist Maka Jabua and Imedi cameraman Shota Kervalishvili.
Giorgi Naskidashvili, Giorgi Kakhiani, Romeo Kekutia, Zaza Mchedlidze were sentenced to 1 year and 3 months in prison. Given that the convicts have already been detained for 9 months, they will spend 6 more months in jail. 2 convicts, Ilia Kebadze and Temur Kharauli, were sentenced to 1 year and 2 months in prison.
2 more cases relating to the violent events of July 5 are pending in Tbilisi City Court.