The United National Movement opposition party MP Khatia Dekanoidze on Wednesday called on President Salome Zourabichvili to “take responsibility” and pardon Nika Gvaramia, the former UNM official and the founder of the opposition-minded Mtavari TV channel, who was sentenced to three years and six months in prison for abuse of power while running Rustavi 2 TV.
"The freedom of Nika does not concern only him, it is also related to the European integration of Georgia, including the fulfillment of the 12-point conditions [for the country’s EU membership candidate status]. The European Parliament resolution said this [in June]. It is also directly written in the 12th condition that the freedom of Nika is the most important [issue] for media freedom”, Dekanoidze said.
“Although I know Nika's position I would like to openly call on the president to take her own responsibility for the country’s European future and pardon Gvaramia",she added.
The panel of the Court of Appeals announced its verdict over Gvaramia earlier today and sentenced the media figure to three years and six months in prison like Tbilisi City Court in May, although the panel of judges aggravated his guilt.
Imprisonment was defined as the measure of punishment for committing the crime stipulated in both episodes of the charge against Gvaramia, while the earlier verdict sentenced him for a single episode.
Gvaramia was found guilty of abuse of power when he ran Rustavi 2 in 2015 and 2019.
His case was included in the resolution of the European Parliament, which was adopted on June 9.
On October 24, at the last session held in the Court of Appeals, Gvaramia took advantage of the final speech and expressed the hope that he would leave prison.
He says the charges were “politically grounded”.