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Journalist Gela Mtivlishvili Faces Arrest

Journalist Gela Mtivlishvili Faces Arrest

Gela Mtivlishvili, a journalist with the Human Rights Information and Documentation Centre expressed his distrust of the Telavi Police Department to the Ministry of Internal Affairs.  On February 7th 2006, an investigation into a criminal case against Gela Mtivlishvili and Roman Kevkhishvili (a journalist with the Telavi ‘Tanamgzavri’ broadcasting company), was started under clauses ‘A’ and ‘B’ of Article 239.

The Human Rights Information and Documentation Centre has information that (the source is not named for the sake of their security) the following act of intimidation was planned against Gela Mtivlishvili: The journalist would be summoned for interrogation and then be verbally and physically assaulted, in a way that would not leave any physical signs of abuse. The police believed that Gela Mtivlishvili would then be provoked to respond angrily and make some noise. Then, several law enforcers would enter the room, detain Mtivlishvili and make further accusations against him. According to the plan, he could then be sentenced to three to eight years imprisonment for ‘hooliganism’ – a crime that could be confirmed by the ‘witnesses’.

The Telavi Regional Administration is even willing to stop the case started against Roman Kevkhishvili, a journalist with the Telavi ‘Tanamgzavri’ broadcasting company, if Gela Mtivlishvili is punished. Roman Kevkhishvili also confirmed this ‘offer’.

“The Deputy Governor of the Telavi Region, Gia Papunashvili, assaulted me both verbally and physically. However, instead of an irate official being brought to account for his act – abusing a journalist - my collogue and I were taken to court, under the pretext that we attempted to create some kind of great disruption in the Telavi Administration. This accusation was made in a supposed letter sent to prosecutor – a letter which I did not manage to find. The investigators remain quiet regarding the assassination attempts against me. On the other hand, they create despicable stories aimed at discrediting my morality. Furthermore, they make certain other journalists voice their versions of events by publishing so called ‘conclusions’. It should also be mentioned that the police pay special attention to the case of ‘hooliganism’. Several reliable sources informed me that a conversation took place between the high ranking officials about my arrest. I checked the information with Papiashili, an investigator at the Telavi Police Department, who in turn, confirmed that my arrest would not be a problem for them. I have got a recording of this conversation”- states Gela Mtivlishvili.

Mtivlishvili also adds that a prosecutor, Levan Sachishvili, called him to tell him to appear in police department for questioning. At the same time, he warned Mtivlishvili not to generate any public interest. “It seems Papiashvili, the investigator, has informed Sachishvili that their plans have become known to me. Everything is so suspicious - especially if you take into consideration the fact that the police have been seen hanging around near my house recently.”

Lia Khuroshvili, a lawyer for the journalist, says that the court is currently considering several cases against Gela Mtivlishvili. Additionally, Gela Mtivlishvili is suing Kako Sikharulidze, the Gurjaani Region’s Deputy Governor and former head of the Journalists’ Federation; who labeled Mtivlishvili as blind criminal and blackmailer. “In addition to the accusations of hooliganism, the defamatory materials that the Gurjaani Regional Administration sent to the Kakheti District Prosecutor’s Office are named as one reason for Mtivlishvili’s possible arrest. Gela strives to prove his innocence through the courts. However, nearly every regional court avoids taking the case against Kako Sikharulidze. Meanwhile, the local authorities use this chance to proliferate slanderous and humiliating information about Mtivlishvili through various broadcasting companies. What’s more, there are placards inscribed ‘Gela Mtivlishvili is a Liar’ hung in the administration”- says the lawyer.

The Prosecutor’s Office refuses to acknowledge Gela Mtivlishvili’s possible arrest. Baadur Guliashvili, Chief of the Telavi Regional Police Department said in a telephone interview that “the criminal case against the journalists Gela Mtivlishvili and Roman Kevkhishvili is being disrupted because of Mtivlishvili’s distrust of our investigation. Mtivlishvili will not appear in court because he fears that he might be arrested”.

The police failed to give reasons why criminal cases against unscrupulous officials who abuse journalists are not being brought. Conversely, a criminal case against the journalists was started immediately due to the letter sent from the Telavi Region Administration.

It should also be mentioned that representatives of the media have already faced arrest attempts in Kakheti. The police did not manage to detain the head of the ‘Tanamgzavri’ broadcasting company because of the public outcry that resulted.

Veriko Kobiashvili from Telavi

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Name: ივანე
2010-12-17 19:38
თანამედროვე გმირია ..გელა მისი ტელეპონის ნომერი დადეტ რომ დუკავსირდეტ
Name: ივანე
2010-12-17 19:36
თანამედროვე გმირია ..გელა
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