Editor of the political section of Liberali magazine, Irakli Absandze, was detained on April 23. Absandze was accused in the purchase of drugs, their storage and carriage, according to Article 260 of the Criminal Code. However, later on April 24 Absandze was released and non-custodial preventive measure were imposed against him.
Liberali journalist released
By Keti Arjevanidze
Thursday, April 25
Absandze received a parcel from a friend living abroad containing marijuana.
“0.4 gr. Marijuana and 0.1 gr. hashish were detected (in a package sent) from my old friend as a present for my birthday,” Absandze said, just after he was released, denying official accusations that he knew what was in the parcel.
According to Absandze’s lawyer, Gagi Mosiashvili, his defendant was a victim of uncertainty. “He received the parcel not knowing what kind of package it was, he had not even opened it, when he was arrested,” said the lawyer.
Lawyers hoped for objective proceedings and evaluation. According to Mosiashvili, the accusation against Absandze and the legal basis for prosecution does not exist. He also added that Absandze did not commit unlawful behavior, therefore cannot confess to the allegation.
According to Nino Giorgobiani, spokesperson of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the investigation of the case is underway. Giorgobiani said the charge against Absandze can be re-qualified in another article.
The Media Advocacy Coalition also released a statement about Absandze’s detention. The coalition appealed to the Ministry to lead the investigation in an open and objective way. They also asked the General Prosecutor to take on the investigation.
In his Facebook post Absandze thanked everyone who supported him. He once again stressed that he did not know that his friend had sent him such a present for his birthday. He said he was returning from the post office with the parcel when the police officers stopped him and this was when he first saw what was inside.
“At this stage this is the whole story,” Absandze said in his post, adding that the court hearing will be held in upcoming days.