Rustavi 2 TV Director Attacker Released on Bail
TBILISI – Rati Gachechiladze, 29, who attacked Nika Gvaramia, a Rustavi 2 TV Director General, on Saturday, was released from the court on GEL 5000 ($1800) bail.
The judge sentenced the detainee to bail without pre-trial detention, so Gachechiladze was released from the trial.
Gvaramia’s lawyer, Dimitry Sadzaglishvili, said the case failed to qualify under the terms of article 126 of the criminal code, which pertains to assault or to other violence that led to victim's physical or mental suffering.
He said the case should be re-examined under the article 156, which addresses politically-motivated violence.
Moreover, Sadzaglishvili said the attack was committed by a group, which would warrant harsher penalties under the criminal code.
The defendant’s lawyer said that the incident was not a premediated crime or a matter of political revenge, but the spontaneous reaction of a drunken boy, and that the case shouldn’t be considered a criminal offense.
The incident happened on January 7th, when Nika Gvaramia was having dinner in a restaurant, after his father’s funeral.
He said the lights went out and he was attacked in a dark by two or more people. He immediately called the police to report the attack. The victim suffered closed head trauma, concussion and soft tissue injuries as a result of the incident.
Shortly after the brawl, Rati Gachechiladze admitted the assault in his Facebook post, taking full responsibility himself.
He said the attack was his reaction to the “physical and moral abuse” his family had received from Gvaramia.
Rati Gachechiladze’s father, Levan Gachechiladze, was a presidential candidate in the 2008 presidential elections, coming second after ex-president Mikheil Saakashvili.
As for Gvaramia, he was one of the most outspoken members of the then-ruling and now opposition party United National Movement (UNM). He served as a Member of Parliament from 2004 to 2007. He was then appointed First Deputy Prosecutor General of Georgia in March 2007. On on January 31st, 2008, he was appointed Minister of Justice. He served as the Minister of Justice until October 27, 2008. He was then appointed as the Minister of Science and Education, a position he quit in December of the following year.
He has served as the Director General of Rustavi 2 since November 2012.
By Thea Morrison
Photo: Rustavi 2 TV Director general, Nika Gvaramia (on the left) and his attacket, Rati Gachechiladze (on the right)