Executive Director of Transparency International Georgia Continues the Court Dispute Over the Defamation Case
The court case of Executive Director of Transparency International Georgia, Eka Gigauri, against Goga Khaindrava and Guram Adamashvili ended on November 30 in the court of the first instance. Although the court didn’t confirm the participation of Eka Gigauri with the dispersal of the protesters on November 7, 2017, the court ruled that G. Khaindrava and G. Adamashvili were solely expressing their opinion and were not committing an act of defamation against Eka Gigauri.
We want to publicly state that the decision of the court goes against the standards set on the national level, as well as international best practice, since Khaindrava and Adamashvili made several public statements, including during the court proceedings, asserting the involvement of Eka Gigauri in the dispersal of the protesters on November 7. However, they were unable to prove these accusations at the court through witnesses and evidence.
Notably, it took the court an extended period of three years to rule whether or not the public statements made by Guram Adamashvili and Goga Khaindrava throughout 2014-2015 were an act of defamation against the dignity, honor, and reputation of Transparency International Georgia’s Executive Director Eka Gigauri.
The decision of the court did not come as a surprise to Transparency International Georgia, given that the Minister of Justice, Tea Tsulukiani, and leader of the ruling party, Bidzina Ivanishvili, were actively involved in the campaign to discredit Eka Gigauri and the entire civil society sector through similar defamatory public statements. We think that this could have had an influence on the outcome of the case.
It is clear from the decision of the court that Eka Gigauri did not participate in the dispersal of the protestors on November 7. Transparency International Georgia and Eka Gigauri will continue the dispute and will take the case to the court of appeals. If further decisions of the courts on the national level are not independent and objective, we will address the European Court of Human Rights.