Irakli Kobakhidze, the chair of the ruling Georgian Dream party, on Thursday said the statement by the United States embassy that lamented this week’s court decision keeping Mtavari Arkhi TV director in imprisonment was a “direct interference” in the independence of the country’s judiciary.
Kobakhidze was commenting on the statement of the American diplomatic mission that said on Wednesday the “continued imprisonment of Nika Gvaramia, the Director General of the main opposition TV channel, puts at risk the clear choice of the people of Georgia”.
In his comments over the matter, Kobakhidze noted Georgia’s partners should be “equally careful” about the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary, both in their own country and in another state.
“In no case do we interfere with the independence of the court and influence the court's decisions. I saw yesterday the statement of the American embassy, the ambassador's statement. It was a direct interference in the independence of the court, which is naturally very serious”, the GD official said.
Of course, our partners should be equally careful about the rule of law, the independence of the judiciary both in their own country and in another country. This is the only assessment I can make. We have a different approach to the independence of the courts and the rule of law”, he concluded in his comments.
The Tbilisi court of appeals on Wednesday upheld the verdict of the Tbilisi city court against Nika Gvaramia, the imprisoned head of the Mtavari Arkhi TV channel, and kept him in imprisonment for charges of having caused damage through commercial deals to Rustavi 2 channel he led in 2015 and 2019.