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Compiled by Messenger Staff
Monday, March 29
Journalists Ethics Board says Natia Koberidze violated its Charter

Rezonansi writes that on March 25 a sitting of the Journalists Ethics Board was held without Natia Koberidze, whose case was to be discussed at that session. Koberidze had said for two weeks that she would personally meet members of the Board to answer their questions, but she ultimately failed to do so, saying that ‘dishonest people with revengeful moods’ would conduct provocations against her. In Koberidze’s absence the sitting found her guilty of violating the first article of the Charter of Journalistic Ethics, which states that a journalist is obliged to respect the truth and society has the right to receive precise information.

The Board was initially confused by Koberidze’s refusal to attend but later Eter Turadze, the Chair of the Board, managed to persuade Koberidze to answer its questions via e-mail. The members of the Board sent 16 questions to Koberidze and received a reply 40 minutes later. It then sent 3 further questions to Koberidze but received no reply to these. On the basis of the answers to the first 16 questions the guilty verdict was passed.

The Board does not exclude the possibility that other articles of the Charter have also been violated by Koberidze, but it could only discuss a violation of the first article as citizens had only filed applications concerning this article. According to the Charter, the members of the Board cannot consider violations of additional articles without relevant applications being made. Any citizen may file an application concerning the other articles of the Charter during a period of 3 months after the alleged violation takes place.

After the sitting the members of the Board refrained from comment. Natia Koberidze believes she has not violated any article of the Charter.

"In my opinion Koberidze’s behaviour was inappropriate. She did not show any respect for the Board. No Board member has ever had any negative attitude to Koberidze," Board member Eliso Chapidze said.

Will Saakashvili resign for the sake of territorial integrity?

"The ongoing processes indicate that Russia is working on a long-term project which began with Noghaideli," Akaki Bobokhidze, Chairman of the Environment and Natural Resources Protection Committee of Parliament, states in an interview with Versia.

"Today I hear similar pretexts – if we obey the Russians we shall gain profit from them. If Saakashvili is categorically unacceptable for Russia, why does it not take a first step towards restoring our territorial integrity? Saakashvili might resign then. But it is being said that if we get rid of Saakashvili Russia will give something to us. We have had such relations with Russia for 15 years. Should not we learn from history? Russia will make no compromises. Russia relies on those Georgians who are ready to cooperate with it to come to power. Therefore Russia does not think about making compromises with Georgia," Bobokhidze says.

"In fact, these people are getting ready for action. The document, they plan to send to the international community is ridiculous indeed. We will hold fair elections in a democratic environment. Some of the opposition do not care. They will urge for people to rally in the streets, but I hope the voters, who will be persuaded that the opposition was fairly defeated in the elections, will not be misled by their claims,” Bobokhidze says.

Asked whether he cared about the strategy document the opposition is about to issue, Bobokhidze says: "I am not expecting anything extraordinary from it. Revolutions cannot be held without external help. If anyone wishes to be cursed in future, this is their choice."