The US Embassy in Georgia has released a statement regarding the court decision into the case of Nika Gvaramia, Kakhaber Damenia and Zurab Iashvili.
“Today’s ruling, in the cases of Gvaramia, Iashvili, and Damenia, calls into question Georgia’s commitment to rule of law, and further demonstrates the fundamental importance of having an independent, impartial judiciary in Georgia. From its inception, this case has raised questions, including about the timing and the charges. The disturbing pattern of selective investigations and prosecutions targeting those in opposition to the current government undermines the public’s confidence in the police, prosecution, the courts, and the government itself. Particularly at this time, when Georgia has an unprecedented opportunity to advance its Euro-Atlantic integration, even the perception of politicized prosecution is detrimental. It is the United States’ firm position that a healthy democracy depends on ensuring judicial independence and protecting media freedom. That is why we have repeatedly called for the government to undertake comprehensive reforms to advance these fundamental democratic principles,” US Embassy stated.
The Court has sent Nika Gvaramia, Mtavari Arkhi TV founder, and former Director of Rustavi 2 TV to 3.6 years behind bars on charges of embezzlement, money laundering and abuse of office while being at Rustavi 2.