TV company “Rustavi 2” broadcasts the statement of judge Lasha Chkhikvadze.
“After listening to the statement of MEP Michael Galler in the Court of Appeal regarding Nika Gvaramia’s case, where, as I believe, he is putting direct pressure on the court and is clearly indicating to the Court of Appeal to acquit him at the first hearing on Tuesday, July 19, next week, when the court session is scheduled, and therefore correct old mistakes (which I allegedly made), I decided to make the following statement: … I believe that MEP Galler’s statement is a direct pressure on my colleagues who shall review the case in the higher instance and, with open pressure already started and will inevitably get stronger (unfortunately, I have personal experience of such pressure).
After I announced the verdict in N. Gvaramia case, I had a meeting in the building of the Tbilisi City Court with one of the employees of the US Embassy (Kevin Burke, US Department of Justice), who asked me about actual circumstances of the case and stated to me that the Ambassador was interested in why I delivered a guilty verdict and, more specifically, why I delivered prison sentence. I suppose it was a request for a report regarding specific case. Then he added that I was removed from the group of six criminal law judges visiting the US in a few days, as unfortunately my participation would be undesirable.
Finally, I would like to call on political parties, diplomatic corps, international and non-governmental organizations operating in Georgia to refrain from pressuring the court and allow judges to administer justice in a peaceful environment and make decisions based on the Constitution of Georgia, the law and inner belief,” Lasha Chkhikvadze stated.