The Batumelebi Tracks Down Person Forcing its Journalist to Cooperate with Special Services
Georgian online edition Netgazeti reports that on November 20 the newspaper Batumelebi has tracked down the person who, through blackmail, on November 25, 2009 at the MIA buildingBatumi, was forcing Tedo Jorbenadze, coordinator of the Batumelebi investigative team to cooperate with special services.
He turned out to be the representative of the law enforcement agency, in particular Davit Devnizashvili. The publication in the online edition includes Devnozashvili’s photo.
On November 26, 2009 the Batumelebi applied to the Prosecutor’s Office to launch the case. For two years the case has been remaining investigated. According to the Prosecutor’s Office it was impossible to track down the individuals having “summoned and blackmailed” Tedo Jorbenadze on November 25.
According to the Netgazeti publication the prosecution was to identify who was “someone named Mr Davit” blackmailing the journalist through Soviet KGB methods – telling him that in case of refusal to cooperate his discreditable photos would be publicized. At the time Eter Turadze, Editor-inchief, the Batumelebi and Mzia Amaglobeli, newspaper publisher were accompanying Tedo Jorbenadze.
The Netgazeti also reports that in December 2009 the prosecution showed Tedo Jorbenadze, Eter Turadze, and Mzia Amaglobeli some photos for identification but Devnozashvili’s photo was missing therein.
Davit Devnozashvili, born in 2971 is currently living at the block of flats at 26,Dolidze Street,Tbilisi. He was identified by Mzia Amaglobeli having visited Devnozashvili at home on November 20 together with her colleagues.
Reportedly talking to Amaglobeli Devnozashvili confirmed he used to work inBatumi. After the conversation with Devnozashvili Mzia Amaglobeli got in touch with the patrol police to report that Davit Devnozashvili is the person having blackmailed Tedo Jorbenadze through the abuse of official power.
Few minutes later the patrol police crew arrived at Devnozashvili’s house. Khvicha Kirvalidze was the captain of the crew. Prosecutors arrived on the scene together with the patrol police staff. The district inspector confirmed to the Batumelebi Davit Devnozashvili is truly living there and he is the employee of the law enforcement agency.
The patrol police stayed on the scene for an hour, conducting phone consultations. Afterwards the patrol police crew approached Mzia Amaglobeli telling her they have talked to the management, the prosecution is being on and the aforementioned flat is being under surveillance. But according to the Netgazeti the patrol police staff, regardless of insistence, refused to register a relevant legal act and quit the spot.
For two years the Batumelebi has been trying to make law enforcement investigate the case of pressure and blackmail against the Batumi-based journalist. In 2009 the Batumelebi applied to the international organizations for help. The Batumelebi partner international organization MDLF applied to the President of Georgia and US Senators including Senator McCain. The Batumelebi statement was responded by Gavin O'Reilly, WAN-IFRA President and Xavier Vidal-Folch, President of the World Editors Forum having called upon President Saakashvili to thoroughly investigate the case and hold the offenders responsible.