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Indirect pressure was exercised on European Court

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Friday, April 14
Parliament Speaker Irakli Kobakhidze claims that indirect pressure was exercised on the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) from various leading figures, parties and NGOs from Georgia over the notorious Rustavi 2 private broadcaster’s ownership dispute.

“There had been certain signs that some people, including the President, political parties and other actors, were trying to have a political influence on the European Court's decision. They sent letters to the Court, and naturally, the decision was made under this influence,” Kobakhidze said.

The Speaker was referring to the ECtHR’s recent decision which suspended the enforcement of the verdict delivered by all courts in Georgia, which returned the 100 percent of the company’s shares to its former owner, Kibar Khalvashi.

The European Court suspended the handing over of the company shares to Khalvashi, who said the shares were illegally deprived from him under the United National Movement leadership, until the Strasbourg based court made a final verdict.

The Energy Minister, Kakha Kaladze, also shared the Speaker’s view and highlighted the negative role of a range of players in the case.

Meanwhile, the current heads of Rustavi 2 and the parliamentary opposition parties state that the Parliament Speaker’s statement “will ensure the European Court that the Rustavi 2 case was politically motivated”.

“The current authorities claim the Government has never been involved in a private ownership dispute. The Speaker’s statement speaks differently,” members of the parliamentary minority, European Georgia and the United National Movement parties, said.

A member of the non-parliamentary opposition Republican Party, Tamar Kordzaia, said such statements will not provide positive consequences for Georgia.

“The European Court has a higher rating among the people of Georgia than the whole of our own Parliament,” Kordzaia said.

Opposing this, a member of the Supreme Council of Justice, Eva Gotziridze, said the European Court has created a “very negative precedent” and they would see the unfavourable consequences of their decision in the future.