Pandemic leads to arrest of innocent man

It all started when Demetre’s pregnant wife got toothache one evening during the Covid curfew (from 9pm to 6am at the time). They rang the doctor and discovered that she needed a painkiller that they didn’t have at home. Demetre popped out to the pharmacy.

On his way home, Demetre saw police. He hid between two parked cars. The owner was on a nearby balcony, thought Demetre was trying to rob his car and started shouting. Demetre panicked and ran away. The police caught him and tried to arrest him.

He tried to explain, but it seemed like his word against the car owners. Again he tried to escape. Eventually, he was arrested for breaking the curfew, attempted theft and resisting arrest. Demetre was facing 3 years in prison and a fine of 300 Lari (amost £700).

Fortunately, Mkurnali’s lawyer was able to turn the story around. First, they requested the car be fingerprinted, which showed no evidence that Demetre had touched the car. The charge of attempted theft was removed. Then the doctor confirmed the phone call, and the pharmacy CCTV and receipt further corroborated Demetre’s story. The fact remained that Demetre had broken the curfew and he was given a fine he could not pay. Mkurnali’s intervention meant that this was reduced to a verbal warning in the end, much to the relief of Demetre and his wife.