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Russian MPs demand extradition of Georgian TV host insulting Putin

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Wednesday, July 10
Russia’s State Duma has demanded the extradition of Giorgi Gabunia, an anchor of Georgian private broadcaster Rustavi-2 TV who used foul language to insult Russian president Putin on Sunday in his show programme, Duma speaker Vyacheslav Volodin said on July 8.

“This was said at a meeting of the State Duma Council. All agreed that it is necessary to institute criminal proceedings against the Georgian national who behaved rudely, throwing insults at the head of state.

“It is necessary to have him extradited to Russia so that our court pronounces a verdict under our country’s laws,” TASS cited Volodin as saying “Only this way: to put him on the wanted list, spot him and have him extradited to Russia.”

Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov urged Georgian officials to apologize for Gabunia’s behavior.

“The insults were targeted not only against the Russian president but also against Russian people in general and each citizen of Russia in particular. Georgia’s president and prime minister should immediately offer official and public apologies to the Russian president,” Kadyrov wrote on his Telegram account.

He said that a criminal case should be opened against Gabunia for insulting Russia’s top official and stated that it was less likely for him to make the decision alone.

Putin says that Gabunia isn’t worth enough to be charged or extradited.

Gabunia has been suspended from work for two months.

His insult comes after anti-occupation rallies in Tbilisi sparked by the presence of Russian MPs in Georgian parliament on June 20 and an address of a Russian lawmaker from the seat of the Georgian parliamentary speaker during a religious forum.

The rally protesting the development was dispersed by police the same night as a group of people tried to storm the parliament building.

The dispersal left 240 injured, including two people who lost their eyesight.