Georgian National Socialist Sentenced to 3.5 Years in Jail for Storing Weapons
A defiant Georgian National Socialist was found guilty and sentenced to three and a half years in jail by a Tbilisi court.
Giorgi Chelidze, the head of self-described fascist group Georgian (National) Unity, was convicted of illegally purchasing and storing firearms.
He was detained in September, 2018, and police said they found a cache containing 23 items of illegal ammunition, including bullets for Kalashnikov automatic rifles and machine guns, in his apartment.
Giorgi Chelidze has insisted he is innocent.
The police started a criminal probe into the case after the group circulated a video apparently filmed by themselves in which Chelidze and several young men are seen shooting with Kalashnikov rifles in a forest.
Giorgi Chelidze and his NS youth group leapt into prominence during a wave of protests in spring of 2018, against the brutal police crackdown on two major nightclubs in May that year.
Georgian Unity and some other radical groups staged a counter-rally against the club goers and the police barely managed to avoid a direct confrontation between the two groups of protesters
Chelidze’s fame virtually soared after saluting in the manner of traditional National Socalists at the court hearings in October.