Lazare Grigoriadis is Free

გიორგი ბასხაჯაური/მედია აპრილი

Lazare Grigoriadis is free. He left the Gldani prison a few minutes ago.

Family members, friends, and supporters were waiting for Grigoriadis on the spot.

Lazare thanked both his supporters and the President of Georgia, Salome Zurabishvili, for the pardon and said that he intends to join the protests against the Russian law.

The President of Georgia, Salome Zurabishvili, signed the act of pardoning Grigoriadis today, April 24.

Let us remind you that Zurabishvili made the decision to pardon Grigoriadis on the same day when the court sentenced Lazare to 9 years of imprisonment.

After a year of trial, the final session of it, which was postponed several times, was held on April 12.

Judge Zviad Sharadze found Lazare guilty under the following 2 articles of the Criminal Code:

  • By the second part of the prima article 353 (infringement of the policeman’s health in connection with his official activity);
  • Article 187, part two, subparagraph “a” (destruction of another’s property by setting fire).

As 24 non-governmental organizations claimed, the protracted trial of Grigoriadis was in violation of his procedural rights. According to the NGO’s joint statement, doubts that Lazare would receive fair justice were deepening;

According to the Social Justice Center, the prosecution’s evidence in the case of Lazare Grigoriadis was contradictory and unconvincing. The organization stated that various types of violations were revealed in the investigation and court hearings.

Lazare Grigoriadis was arrested on March 29, 2023. According to the prosecutor’s office, Grigoriadis threw stones and Molotov cocktails at the policemen during the March 7-9 protests.

On March 31, the court sentenced Grigoriadis to prison as a preventive measure. On April 12, he was found guilty and got sentenced to 9 years of imprisonment.

In the course of the case, a new charge was presented to Lazare, which refers to the wounding of his father in 2021. The activist was charged with intentional slight injury to Beka Grigoriadis and damage to his car. On September 25, the court found Lazare guilty of this case and sentenced him to 1 year and 6 months of imprisonment. Beka Grigoriadis said that this case was brought up now for political reasons.

In parallel with the court proceedings, Georgian Dream constantly tried to damage the reputation of Lazare and conducted a discrediting campaign against him. In particular, the members of “Georgian Dream” immediately connected Grigoriadis with the opposition. In addition, they were referred to as “disoriented” with a homophobic subtext.