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Leaked talk between Rustavi 2 director and ex-head of court

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Wednesday, October 5
A secret recording has been leaked online through a Ukrainian portal, revealing a conversation between Nika Gvaramia, the Director of one of the most influential private broadcasters in Georgia, Rustavi 2, and the ex-head of Tbilisi City Court, Mamuka Akhvlediani.

In the conversation, Akhvlediani speaks about Georgia’s current head of the Supreme Court, Nino Gvenetadze, in a negative context, and calls her a “training pillow.”

He also touches upon “loads of work” at the court and says the situation is “catastrophic.”

Gvaramia, who served as Georgia’s Justice and Education Ministers under the previous United National Movement government, says the recording was made by him, as at that time Tbilisi City Court was discussing the ownership issue of Rustavi 2, as the former and current owners were disputing the ownership of the channel’s shares.

Gvaramia says he made the recording as Akhvlediani could say something interesting that could be used as evidence during the trials.

Gvaramia also said the meeting with Akhvlediani was initiated by the former head of the Tbilisi City Court.

Akhvlediani dismisses such an initiative and claims he did not know Gvaramia was recording the conversation.

“Gvaramia, must at least, ask for an official pardon for this,” Akhvlediani says.

Meanwhile, Gvaramia claims he did not know how the recording went viral.

“There are two options. Either it was a cyber-attack on my computer, or there is someone in the State Security Service who releases such recordings online,” Gvaramia said.

An investigation is already lunderway over the case.

A member of the ruling Georgian Dream-Democratic Georgia (GDDG) party, Manana Kobakhidze, says what Gvaramia did constitutes a violation of the law.

Members of the United National Movement opposition party have accused the Government of releasing such recordings ahead of October 8 Parliamentary Elections.

A representative of the Republican Party, Tamar Kordzaia, stressed the relevant state bodies haven’t investigated “any such leak.”

With regards to Akhvlediani, the High Council of Justice (HCoJ), a body overseeing the judicial system, dismissed him from the position of the chairman of Tbilisi City Court on February 22 this year.

He was accused of poor management and of violating procedures of assigning cases to judges.

Akhvlediani, who has been a judge since 2007 – he first served as chairman of Rustavi City Court and then chaired Tbilisi City Court from November 2012 – said his dismissal from the chairmanship was “an act of revenge” for his public criticism of the HCoJ and judicial system leadership.

Georgia’s civil sector representatives believed Akhvlediani’s dismissal was unfair.