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Nina Khatiskatsi Dismissed from Transparency International – Georgia

27.07.2012

Information Center of Kakheti

Transparency International – Georgia’s (TI-Georgia) Program Director Nina Khatiskatsi has been fired from her job. Nina Khatiskatsi was the head of a project on electoral process monitoring and made critical statements about the government.

“I have not received any warnings or rebukes so far. I had been fulfilling my duties perfectly and no violations or shortcomings were observed in my work. I was implementing projects. The decision was made by TI-Georgia’s executive director Eka Gigauri and Board Chair Mark Mullen; the executive director had some disagreements with me on several issues.”

-Is your dismissal connected with the upcoming parliamentary elections, seeing as you were the director of the election monitoring project?

-We did not speak about this issue.

-According to my information, before your dismissal you met with Eka Gigauri and Mark Mullen. What did you talk about?

-I wondered why they had decided to fire me so suddenly. Apparently, they had made the decision long before and could not change anything. I have never had any similar conversation with the executive director and board chair before.

-Where are you going to continue your activities?

-I will start searching for a new job.

-I should ask you again. Were you fired because of the critical statements you made about the government?

-I cannot comment on that because we did not speak about this issue. Nobody has ever rebuked me for my activities,” Nina Khatiskatsi told ICK.

ICK got in touch with the PR manager of TI-Georgia Nana Lobzhanidze to get an official comment. “I have been in meetings all day long and  am currently out of the office. So you should call Eka [Gigauri]. I learned about this incident today and cannot say anything on the issue,” Lobzhanidze said.

Eka Gigauri did not return ICK’s phone calls.

Besides the elections monitoring project, Nina Khatiskatsi was also the head of a project on promoting independence of the Georgian judiciary.

TI-Georgia released a statement on the dismissal of Nina Khatiskatsi from the position as Program Director: “TI-Georgia responds to the information spread by various media outlets about personnel changes within the organization. The recent changes were related to internal organizational differences. We are grateful to Ms. Nina Khatiskatsi for her work within the organization and wish her success in her future professional activities. We would like the public to know that the position of TI-Georgia on various sensitive issues in the country was always connected with the position of our organization and not one particular individual. Our statements and reports always relied on complex research conducted by the many researchers and experts within our organization. The success and public trust toward TI-Georgia is the result of a joint effort of our team. At the same time, we are concerned about statements that might damage the organization’s reputation. This is why we decided to reply to these statements and publicly express our position regarding the internal processes of our organization.

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