The Court Found Lazare Guilty and Sentenced Him to 9 Years in Prison

Civil Georgia

Lazare Grigoriadis, who was arrested during the 2023 protests against the Russian Law, was found guilty of both charges and sentenced to 9 years in prison.

After a year of trial, the final session of the trial, which was postponed several times, was held today. Judge Zviad Sharadze announced this decision a few minutes ago.

Sharadze found Grigoriadis guilty under the following 2 articles of the Criminal Code:

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

As Sharadze said, Grigoriadis was arrested on March 29, therefore, the punishment starts from the day of his arrest.

The family and lawyers are going to appeal to President Salome Zurabishvili for pardon. After the verdict was announced, Lazare’s mother, Tamta Kalandadze, said that she is already going to the president’s administration to ask for pardon of Grigoriadis.

“We expected that this verdict would come […] we are going to the president right now”, said Tamta Kalandadze.

Gia Kalandadze, grandfather of Lazare Grigoriadis, hopes that Salome Zurabishvili will pardon Lazare.

“The verdict was completely groundless and wrong, which I am very upset about. As for what path we will take, we are here now, in the presidential palace, and we will appeal to the president to pardon Lazare. I hope that Mrs. President will make the right decision and pardon Lazare”, Gia Kalandadze says.

Lazare Grigoriadis was arrested on March 29, 2023. According to the prosecutor’s office, Grigoriadis threw stones at the policemen during the March 7-9 protests. Molotov cocktails were used. On March 31, the court sentenced Grigoriadis to prison as a preventive measure. In case of a guilty verdict, Lazare faces 7 to 9 years in prison.

During 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 in 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 has 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 referred to him to as “disoriented” with a homophobic subtext.