The Public Defender’s address to the Chief Prosecutor in connection with the case of the Batumelebi newspaper

In accordance with the Georgian Law on the Public Defender of Georgia, the Public Defender of Georgia addresses the Chief Prosecutor of Georgia with a demand to study the information provided by representatives of the Batumelebi newspaper in order to ascertain the truth and achieve an effective outcome.

On November 20, 2011, according to the information of the Batumelebi newspaper, the director of the newspaper, Ms. Mzia Amaglobeli, ascertained the identity of the person who had blackmailed the coordinator of the investigative group of the newspaper. The employees of the newspaper called the patrol police, but the police officers failed to draw up any written documents on the ground.

In connection with the aforementioned issue, the representatives of the Batumelebi newspaper addressed applications to the Prosecutor of the Autonomous Republic of Adjara and to the Minister of Internal Affairs of Georgia.

As you know, on November 25, 2009, the coordinator of the investigative group of the Batumelebi newspaper, Tedo Jorbenadze, was called to the building of the Batumi Division of the MIA by strangers. He was accompanied by employees of the newspaper. According to the aforementioned persons, the strangers showed Tedo Jorbenadze black and white photos which ostensibly displayed the journalist himself. They demanded that he meet them on the next day. Otherwise, they threatened that they would publicize the photos and videos.

After he had studied the materials of the aforementioned case on December 11, 2009, based on Article 21 of the Organic Law of Georgia on the Public Defender of Georgia, the Public Defender addressed a recommendation to the Chief Prosecutor, demanding that he study the case. A recommendation to investigate this case effectively was also included in the Public Defender’s parliamentary report of 2010.

According to the official correspondence at our disposal, on February 18, 2010, the Investigatory Unit of the Autonomous Republic of Adjara launched a preliminary investigation into the fact of exceeding of the authority by employees of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, which contains signs of crime provided in Part 1 of Article 333 of the Criminal Code of Georgia.

Unfortunately, the investigation into the act carried out against Tedo Jorbenadze is yet to be completed.

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