On June 4, late in the evening, the police in Gori arrested Ioseb Babaev, the businessman and owner of Resto Bar, who had been actively participating in anti-Russian and anti-Agents Law protests in Tbilisi and Gori.

"As he told me, at the entrance of Gori, as he turned from the freeway into the city, he was being chased by a foreign car, which did not allow traffic to continue. Meanwhile, the police arrived. He told me that they were breaking my car windows, so I got out myself to ask what was going on. As soon as they got out of the car, they put firearms in the cabin and the machine gun in the trunk of the car. After some time, they started searching and filming, as if they had found a weapon," said Kakha Kalmakhelidze, Ioseb Babaev's lawyer, to Georgian News.

The lawyer stated that the detainee has physical injuries.

"He has cuts and bruises on his hands and head. He told me that during the arrest, he was physically assaulted, beaten. They even put their clothes over his head. Probably, if they had found his DNA on the weapon, they would have claimed he wore gloves on his hands, on his head.

We will prove that Ioseb Babaev did not have this weapon in his car. His detention is directly related to his activities. During the arrest, the police mentioned this very activity and questioned him about why he supports them [opponents of the Russian Law], etc.," said the lawyer.

Ioseb Babaev is arrested under Article 236 of the Criminal Code, which pertains to the illegal purchase, storage, and carrying of weapons, and he is sentenced to up to 2 years in prison.

Late at night, the police also searched Babaev's residence, where, based on the information from the detainee's friends, they found nothing illegal. "This is related to our activism, as we are against the non-existent government. I am his friend, and Soso did not have a gun. Before the Russian Law comes into force, they are trying as much as possible to intimidate and eliminate those who are its active opponents," said Shota Kharibegashvili, a friend of the detainee.

There is a sign at the entrance of Ioseb Babaev's Resto Bar prohibiting the entry of current and former judges - Mikhel Chinchaladze, Levan Murusidze, Irakli Shengelia, and Valerian Tsertsvadze - sanctioned by the USA for their involvement in significant corrupt activities.

At the entrance of the restaurant, there are also flags of Georgia, Ukraine, and the European Union. After the start of the war in Ukraine by Russia, Ioseb Babaev actively participated in the process of providing humanitarian aid. He collected products and items needed by Ukrainians affected by the war in Georgia and brought them to Ukraine.

The restaurant owned by Babaev is located in the city center, in a place crowded with tourists.

Georgian News
Georgian News
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