Statement Regarding the Criminal Case of Nika Gvaramia

18 May, 2022

On March 9, 2022, one of the last court hearings against Nika Gvaramia is scheduled in the Tbilisi City Court. The court might pass a verdict at the same hearing.

The rights of media representatives are undermined in the country. Against this background, making an unjustified decision against the director of Mtavari TV will cause serious damage to one of the leading opposition media outlets and intensify the polarized environment in the country.

On 9 August 2019, Nika Gvaramia was charged under the investigation launched on 20 July of the same year. The majority of charges brought against Nika Gvaramia are related to managerial decisions taken by him in 2015.

While assessing the charges against Nika Gvaramia, the Public Defender indicated that in general decisions made by a director of an enterprise cannot be subject to criminal liability; it may only be subject to corporate legal liability and even this may happen only in exceptional cases. Other than this, the charges filed by the Prosecutor’s Office against Nika Gvaramia do not contain enough obvious signs for imposing criminal liability.

Transparency International Georgia after assessing the case materials as well as considering Georgian legislation, court practice, legal doctrine, and the facts of the case came to the conclusion that it has not been proved that Nika Gvaramia committed the crime of embezzlement of property rights, commercial bribery, creation and use of the false official document and money laundering. 

A proper assessment of circumstances related to the charges against Nika Gvaramia is important for ensuring the rights and freedoms of individuals, as well as for the further development of case law. Therefore, we hope that the court will make a lawful and reasoned decision.