Members of the Media Advocacy Coalition are responding to the information disseminated on March 11, 2021 https://publika.ge/sasamartlom-tv-pirvelidan-prokuraturas-masalebis-amoghebis-ufleba-misca/?fbclid=IwAR2Z8SH%20rN8r_VqC2dTCuNEfzFEC9Vbk, according to which the court allowed the prosecutor’s office to retrieve the materials from TV Pirveli. The TV company has already received the relevant ruling.
It is important to note that under the provisions of Article 50 of the Criminal Procedure Code of Georgia, a journalist cannot be a witness to information obtained in the course of his or her professional activities. Therefore, any move to influence journalists is seen as an attempt to disclose a source of information.
The case concerns the secret recordings released by TV Pirveli on March 6, 2021 https://www.facebook.com/tvpirveli/videos/2970638103150461 in connection with which an investigation has been launched into facts of obtaining unauthorized recording of private conversation and/or wiretapping, as well as recording of private communication, illegal use and dissemination of the information obtained through technical means.
Even though, on March 9, 2021, the Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia categorically stated that the investigation into the secret recordings was not directed against the activities of any TV station or journalist https://www.interpressnews.ge/ka/article/645670-prokuratura-kategoriulad-vacxadebt-rom-parul-chanacerebtan-dakavshirebuli-gamozieba-ar-aris-mimartuli-romelime-telekompaniis-an-zhurnalistis-sakmianob, we believe that conducting an investigation in this regard creates a risk that the media will once again become a target of political retributions.
Once again, we urge the international partners to pay special attention to the campaign against the media in Georgia, which, unfortunately, is encouraged by state institutions and high-ranking officials.