Transparency International Georgia on Friday responded to the court's ruling against TV Pirveli and its journalist Maia Mamulashvili and said that the court's judgements on defamation against the media in Georgia had become a “dangerous trend”.
The organization claimed a number of lawsuits against media representatives in the recent period "points to a clearly coordinated trend" aimed at “limiting and intimidating” the activities of the media.
The case concerns the lawsuit of the mayor of Tbilisi, Kakha Kaladze, in which the journalist was fined 15,000 GEL for accusing the official of receiving 60 million GEL” from only one tender".
Kaladze's lawyer said that his client’s demand was the journalist "to deny these false and untrue reports and pay moral damages in the amount of 100,000 GEL".
TI Georgia called on the ruling Georgian Dream party to protect the critical media and ensure its free activity, as well as to "stop using its own influence to harass the media".
According to the organization, the current situation “significantly hinders” democratic development of the country and damages Georgia's European perspective.