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Court allows Prosecutor's Office to extract materials from TV Pirveli

By Nika Gamtsemlidze
Friday, March 12
The court granted the Prosecutor's Office to extract material related to Bera Ivanishvili's audio recordings from TV Pirveli.

According to TV Pirveli, the only aim of the investigation is to find the person who sent the television the recordings which reveal Irakli Garibashvili, Bera Ivanishvili, and Anzor Chubinidze discussing the ways to deal with individuals who wrote negative posts about Bera Ivanishvili online.

TV Pirveli representatives believe this is a direct attack on them.

On the other hand, the Prosecutor’s Office published a statement claiming that TV Pirveli has the right to refrain from providing them with the material. The statement also notes that the Prosecutor's Office does not plan to use any force to extract materials from TV Pirveli.

The Public Defender of Georgia issued a special statement saying that the decision of the court is alarming and goes against the Georgian legislature and European Human Rights Law. Nino Lomjaria called on the Prosecutor General's Office of Georgia not to take a step that would seriously undermine freedom of expression and journalistic activity.

Transparency International Georgia also issued a statement regarding the Court's decision saying that the ruling of the Tbilisi City Court is a "dangerous precedent to allow the Prosecutor's Office to seize the material provided by a confidential source."

TI's statement also reads that the ruling fails to meet the criteria of substantiation. “We call on the authorities to act in accordance with the law. The authorities should recognize the serious risks arising from the Court ruling and its possible enforcement that threatens the freedom of expression in the country,” reads TI's statement.

Quickly after the decision of the court was announced, a group of people decided to gather near the building of TV Pirveli and support the channel.

The Prosecutor's Office launched an investigation into the case under illegally listening to, recording, and disseminating a private conversation. The agency does not say whether it was interested in the alleged act of violence mentioned in the record.

According to the Prosecutor's Office, as part of the ongoing investigation into the case, all necessary investigative and procedural actions will be carried out to determine the legality of obtaining and distributing the record.