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MIA Partially Recognized the Facts of Inflicting Harm to Journalists and Undertook Obligation to Compensate the Damage

2011-12-12 16:06
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On December 12, 2011, journalist Tea Tadashvili of Tbilisi City Court’s Board of Administrative Cases examined collective lawsuit of journalists (total of seven applicants) filed against the Ministry of Interior Affairs of Georgia.

The plaintiffs, Netgazeti journalists Konstantine Stalinski and Tamaz Kupreishvili, Guria News journalist Nato Gogelia, Batumelebi newspaper Ltd, Chokhatauri Matsne Ltd, Akhali Ambebi Ltd, Radiocenter Plus Ltd have applied to court to have the respondent ordered to restore original condition/reimburse property damage and compensate damages to health.

Representatives of MIA declared that they recognize the claim for compensating health damages. As for the claim concerning equipment, they state that it is impossible to restore original condition as MIA can not return the same exact equipment and footage that journalists had. More specifically, the Ministry recognized facts of inflicting health damage to Konstantine Stalinski, Tamaz Kupreishvili, Nato Gogelia, and recognized the claim of Batumelebi newspaper concerning seizure of two cameras and the claim of Akhali Ambebi Ltd concerning one flip-chart that was seized from its journalist on May 26 at night by law enforcers.

Representatives of MIA believe that Nato Gogelia’s claim concerning seizure of her telephone shound not be granted, and neither should claims of Chokhatauri Matsne Ltd and Akhali Ambebi Ltd concerning property damage.

Examination of the case filed by journalists victimized on May 26 was finished today in Tbilisi City Court.

Final judgment will be announced on December 26, at 11:00 am.

Interests of applicants are protected by the Georgian Media Legal Defence Center at GYLA.