Tbilisi Mayor Kakha Kaladze is suing opposition TV Pirveli presenter Maia Mamulashvili in Court on the grounds that she spread the allegedly false information that he stole GEL 60 million (USD 20.7 million) from a public tender during a 5 June 2022 broadcast.
The Tbilisi Mayor filed the suit on 20 June but it was not until 24 August that Mamulashvili was notified that he was suing her for GEL 100,000 (USD 34,603) compensation.
Keti Zandukeli, TV Pirveli’s lawyer, stated that information about the alleged theft first appeared a year ago, and since then, numerous sources have regurgitated the information, hence, “it cannot be considered under any circumstances that Maia Mamulashvili disseminated this statement, which in turn, damaged Kakha Kaladze’s honor and dignity.”
Zandukeli emphasized that “this is an unreasonable request and is aimed only at discrediting the TV channel, [and] imposing an enormous financial responsibility on it, which will put the TV channel under a lot of pressure.”
Meanwhile, Interpressnews cited Mayor Kaladze’s lawyer Dimitri Gabunia on 1 September as stating that International Courts have already determined the line “between defamation, unverified information, and providing information to the public” and that now “the Court of Georgia must also establish [the same].”
According to Gabunia, they are interested in the documentation and the concrete facts on the basis of which Mamulashvili made the allegations. “This is a lie and slander, if this documentation is not presented, they should be held accountable to the full extent of the law,” Gabunia underscored.
Mayor Kaladze’s lawyer also did not rule out that in the future filing lawsuits against specific media outlets will take on a systemic nature. “This will have a systemic nature, a group of lawyers is working [on this] and where we see that there will be similar statements, we will have an appropriate response,” he said.