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Internet phone conversation allegedly allegedly involves Rustavi 2 director

By Tea Mariamidze
Tuesday, February 7
A Ukrainian website, 'Ukrains'ka revolutsia', has released another recording of a phone conversation which allegedly took place between Nika Gvaramia, Rustavi 2's Director General, and the ex-Justice Minister of Georgia, Zurab Adeishvil, who is on the run.

The recording refers to the court process regarding the Rustavi 2 case. The men are heard talking about the judges and '3 million'.

Gvaramia held a special press-conference regarding the recording, saying it is a “fabrication”. The Rustavi 2 TV Director says the recording was made by the State Security Service (SSS).

“I expect the release of more recordings and fabrications about me, including private ones, as the SSS has warned me many times. But I do not care, I will not step aside,” he stated.

Gvaramia explains that he has not had any conversations with Adeishvili for the last two years and the current recording is made up from his several different conversations with different people.

The majority says the authenticity of the recording will be assessed by the investigation. However, they disapprove of Gvaramia’s statement that the Security Service is fabricating such recording.

The chair of the majority faction Georgian Dream, Mamuka Mdinaradze, says he cannot comment on the case until the authenticity of the recording is examined.

“I cannot make any specific allegations. The investigation should determine the authenticity of the records. However, I was not surprised by the content of the recording. It is their style,” says Mdinaradze.

Rustavi 2 is one of the most popular channels in Georgia, which played an important role during the Rose Revolution in 2003, which ended Eduard Shevardnadze’s leadership.

Kibar Khalvashi, who was a co-owner of Rustavi 2 from 2004 to 2006, filed a lawsuit in August 2015 to reclaim his shares in Rustavi 2, saying he was illegally deprived of his company shares under the previous United National Movement (UNM) government, which ran Georgia 2003-2012.

Since then, all court verdicts said the channel’s shares must be given back to Khalvashi before November 21, when three judges of the Supreme Court made a decision to hand the notorious case to the Grand Chamber, tasked with discussing the most complex cases.

Two of these judges, Besarion Alavidze and Paata Katamadze, applied to the Prosecutor’s Office on January 14 2017, saying they have received letters and short text messages from foreign phone number. The Prosecutor’s Office says in these emails and SMSs that there were signs of attempted interference in their judiciary activities.