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Georgia: Opposition leader Nika Melia detained in Tbilisi02:13

Georgia: Opposition leader Nika Melia detained in Tbilisi

Georgia, Tbilisi
February 23, 2021 at 08:45 GMT +00:00 · Published

The leader of Georgia’s United National Movement (UNM) opposition party Nika Melia was detained during a special police operation at the party's offices in Tbilisi on Tuesday. Melia's detention was authorised by a court in Tbilisi after the UNM leader allegedly refused to pay bail, according to media reports.

Video footage shows law enforcement entering the offices of UNM and leading some of Melia's supporters as well as journalists out of the building. Special equipment was used by law enforcement to reach the top floors of the building as part of the operation.

According to media reports, pepper spray was used by law enforcement.

Melia faces charges related to his alleged role in inciting unrest during protests in June 2019 which culminated in attempts to storm the Georgian parliament.

A court ruled that the MP must pay a fine of 30,000 lari ($9,000; €7,500) and wear an electronic monitoring bracelet.

Melia removed the bracelet during protests in November of 2020. The court then increased bail to 40,000 lari ($12,000; €10,000 ). The UNM leader refused to pay the amount reportedly calling the criminal case against him ‘political persecution.’

Georgia: Opposition leader Nika Melia detained in Tbilisi02:13
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The leader of Georgia’s United National Movement (UNM) opposition party Nika Melia was detained during a special police operation at the party's offices in Tbilisi on Tuesday. Melia's detention was authorised by a court in Tbilisi after the UNM leader allegedly refused to pay bail, according to media reports.

Video footage shows law enforcement entering the offices of UNM and leading some of Melia's supporters as well as journalists out of the building. Special equipment was used by law enforcement to reach the top floors of the building as part of the operation.

According to media reports, pepper spray was used by law enforcement.

Melia faces charges related to his alleged role in inciting unrest during protests in June 2019 which culminated in attempts to storm the Georgian parliament.

A court ruled that the MP must pay a fine of 30,000 lari ($9,000; €7,500) and wear an electronic monitoring bracelet.

Melia removed the bracelet during protests in November of 2020. The court then increased bail to 40,000 lari ($12,000; €10,000 ). The UNM leader refused to pay the amount reportedly calling the criminal case against him ‘political persecution.’