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Nodar Meladze questioned at SSG

By Khatia Bzhalava
Thursday, June 25
The main producer of channel TV1, Nodar Meladze was summoned to the state security service of Georgia over the story about the case of Vasambeg Bokov, who was detained during the special operation.

The Director-General of Mtavari Arkhi, Nika Gvaramia said, Ingush ethnicity detained during a special operation on Kavtaradze Street planned to assassinate Giorgi Gabunia following the orders of Ramzan Kadyrov, the Head of the Chechen Republic.

The State Security Service of Georgia stated that the Counterterrorism Center of the State Security Service detained a citizen of the Russian Federation on charges of purchase and storage of forged documents envisaged by article 362, paragraph 1 of the Criminal Code of Georgia.

However, according to the exclusive interview of Vasambeg Bokov’s brother given to Nodar Meladze, even though he watched the tape of ‘his brother’s’ arrest a couple of times, he could not identify Bokov as his physical appearance did not match the person’s appearance on the tape.

After releasing an episode of journalistic investigation on his programme- Nodar Meladze’s Saturday, Meladze as well as the author of the investigative report- Maka Chikhladze were summoned to SSG to be interrogated.

According to Meladze, he had standard answers to all the questions due to his right as a journalist not to name the sources. “We are here to answer the questions, but the State Security Service is well aware of the fact that journalists are protected by the law allowing us to refuse to disclose or testify about confidential information, including the identity of sources,” he said.

As Meldze reported to the journalist after the interrogation, SSG was interested in whether the journalistic investigation was conducted by the initiation of the media or if it was ordered or asked by someone else. According to Meladze, they also wondered what kind of documentation the journalistic team owned or if they had any additional information that had not been released yet and whether they planned to conduct any further investigations. As he explained the answer to all these questions was that 50th article of the Criminal Procedure Code of Georgia enables journalist not be obliged to be interrogated as witnesses, and to transfer an item, a document, substance or other object that contains information essential to the case with regard to the information obtained in the course of his/her professional activities.

Meladze clarified that his team works to air the second part of the journalistic investigation this Friday ‘with many important details,’ however, he does not feel obliged to share what information they possess and what they are about to gain. As he stated, the next episode of his journalistic investigation will expose whether the person arrested with the charge of Gabunia’s liquidation is really Vasambeg Bokov or not.