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Alistrakho Rokhvadze and Bichiko Gvenetadze Interrogated as Eyewitnesses

17.12.2012

On December 13 so called Media Group members Alistrakho Rokhvadze and Bichiko Gvenetadze were being interrogated for five hours at Kutaisi regional department. Reportedly, the interrogation was held based on the complaint placed by the INFO 9 journalist Ekaterine Dugladze.

Within the pre-election period the Media Group members were running after Dugladze and other representatives of INFO 9 and TV company Channel 9 to interfere into their professional activities. Rokhvadze and Gvenetadze, interrogated by law enforcement as eyewitnesses, left the department premises without providing any comments.

According to the Media Group members’ lawyer Zviad Nishnianidze taking the interest of the investigation and his clients into account, cannot publicize the details of the interrogation, he though added that his client did cooperate with the investigation, providing full answers to the questions. Six episodes are being concerned, the lawyer said, and Alistrakho Rokhvadze and Bichiko Gvenetadze are quite possible to be re-summoned.

On August 7, 2012 the INFO 9 Director Manana Eliashvili lodged an application to the administration of the President of Georgia, as well as Giorgi Bokeria, incumbent Secretary of the National Security Council of Georgia and Parliamentary Committee for Human Rights discussing the pressure upon the INFO 9 journalists.

The video footage released via Facebook prior to the October 1 Parliamentary Elections featured some groups equipped with mics and cameras running after and posing questions to the INFO 9 and Channel 9 regional correspondents while the latter were trying to cover the activities of the local self government or obtain comments from either representative of the authorities. The Media Group members were giving almost similar questions: Is Bidzina Ivanishvili funding you? How much is Bidzina Ivanishvili paying you? Are you an independent journalist? Who are you serving – country or Ivanishvili? and the like.

Tamta Kachkashishvili, media.ge, Kutaisi

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