Photo correspondent detained for alleged spying
14 July, 2011
Photo correspondent detained for alleged spying

 

“Every journalist of us must go to the Constitutional Security Department to confess we all are spies”

I was stunned to learn that my friend and colleague Giorgi Abdaladze was arrested on the spying allegation. It was revealed that together with other detainees he was supplying information to an intelligence service of a certain country.

Alleged spying of photo reporter Giorgi Abdaladze surprised me more than an accusation of trying to dig a Bombay-London tunnel. I went to all lengths to imagine my friend as a spy but failed. I saw him three weeks prior to the day of his arrest. The 26 May wounds were still healing. Giorgi too was coughing. He said it started that night. He was telling me the story of his poisoning with tear gas and how he intuitively found his way to Kashweti Church with his eyes and mouth shut. Only there he put on the gas mask he was carrying in his pocket.

 

When he came to senses, he set up the photographic camera and returned to the scene. He could not have done otherwise. He had to be at every hot spot, where you need courage to do the job. He did not change during the last 12 years since the day when I started working on Media Palitra Holding and got to know him. Very soon after our befriending, Giorgi suffered from severe head and face bruises caused by the truncheons of Shevardnadze’s execution forces headed by Temur Mghebrishvili. Next, he turned up in a Tskhinvali prison after he tried to fulfill his professional duty in Ergneti. Only interference of Media Palitra Management saved him from prison.

During our last meeting before his arrest, Giorgi was recalling the early night events of 26 May: “We, reporters of the state structures did a good job. The Special Forces were not interfering. We were recording everything.” May be today somebody is bashing his head against the wall for the fault of giving green light to reporters of state structures.

We, at the Media Palitra nicknamed him “Paparazzi” for his hunch and sharp eye. So, when I try to imagine Paparazzi as a spy, what strikes my mind is an odd thing. It’s his photos of Gori bombing and other August war episodes. These photos travelled around the globe familiarizing everybody in the world with the violent August events in Georgia. Giorgi was risking his life when he took them. Any moment he could have become a target of enemy. Yet, he never stepped back because Georgia needed it. Why or how can a man be a spy if he loves his or her homeland? Convince me if you can! Otherwise, I will interpret his arrest as another stark warning to all of us – journalists, and I will view myself as the next victim tomorrow!

According to the lawyer of Gia Abdaladze, he is accused of harming the interests of Georgia, supplying all kinds of information to a certain organization which was working under the intelligence services of one of the countries. The case is classified. It foresees imprisonment from 8 to 12 years; but why, for doing what?

P.S. Here is a solution: all independent journalists must go to the Constitutional Security Department and confess that we are spies, and that we were transferring photos and messages to foreign information agencies, even talking to them on the phone. These all make us perfectly legal targets of spying accusations. Can they arrest all of us then? Cannot we alleviate the situation of our colleagues at least in this way?

 

Other Stories
“I am very proud that Kakha Kaladze is my brother-in-law but I am not going live in anybody’s shadow” - Giorgi Areshidze
A noisy meeting of three committees took place in the Tbilisi City Council. The noise was caused by nomination of brother of Energy Minister Kakha Kaladze’s wife, Giorgi Areshidze, as a chairmanship candidate in the City Hall’s
“We continue to stress to the Georgian Government the importance of due process and rule of law” - Jen Psaki
“We’ve expressed some concerns about the way some cases have been handled, and those concerns remain”, US State Department’s Spokesperson Jen Psaki
Russia more reliable than EU, NATO and US for majority of Georgians?
On October 3rd and 4th, the Civil Rights Defense and Research Center “The Marshal of Society” (with its sociological branch headed by Otar Stepanishvili) conducted a poll
Abkhazian “Independence” At Stake?
After the possible Russia-Abkhazia Treaty on Alliance and Integration became public knowledge, the temperature in Abkhazia’s already tumultuous political pot rose to the boiling point.
‘We need one more road to Georgia, repair it immediately!’ – Putin
The restoration of the Avar-Kakheti road is in the strategic interest of Russia. It will render Eastern Georgia completely unprotected.
President Margvelashvili takes part in cultural events with his spouse in Japan
President Giorgi Margvelashvili and his wife Maka Chichua have visited the city of Kyoto within the official visit to Japan.
Up to 75 000 Euros poured in the publishing of Usupashvili's letter - “Transparency International Georgia”
As “Transparency International Georgia” reports, up to 75 thousand Euros have been poured in the publishing of the letter of Davit Usupashvili, Head of Georgia’s Parliament, in International New York Times.
“Name one country that had been in such a poor state and was revived in two years” - Gharibashvili
Can you name one country that had been in such a poor state and was revived in two years? This is ruled out.
There had been preparations for Margvelashvili-Putin meeting - Vano Machavariani
Vano Machavariani, the Former Advisor of the President for Foreign Issues, has said that there had been preparations for holding a meeting between Margvelashvili and Putin
Reuters: “We will never bow to the Russians” – Irakli Alasania
Defense Minister of Georgia, Irakli Alasania spoke about current relations of the country with Russia and touched upon the issue of Ukraine in the article under the title "Defying Russia, Georgia to host NATO training center", published by the Reuters.
“My words were not understood by the provocateur and adventurer” –Gharibashvili
“My team and I would not accept any word from a person who was a main creator of criminal system,
“The Complicated Life of Georgia's Philosopher President” – Foreign Policy
Anna Nemtsova from Foreign Policy had ‘A conversation with Giorgi Margvelashvili,’the President of Georgia. He discusses political situation and current events developing in the country.
International NY Times: “Saakashvili Prosecuted by His Own Past And Not Putin’s “Accomplice” Ivanishvili” – Usupashvili
"It is an offense to me, as Bidzina Ivanishvili’s political partner, chairman of the Parliament of Georgia, cofounder of the Georgian Dream Coalition, to claim that my former political leader and the country’s former Prime Minister has been serving another state and committing treason,"
“They (EPP and EDG), in my view, want the UNM government back” - Exclusive interview with PACE co-rapporteur Michael Jensen
– You visited Georgia before the PACE session as a co-rapporteur with Boris Cilevics. What are your main concerns? What do you think still needs improvement
Zurab Abashidze – It seems that Japaridze has some age problems and that his brakes have betrayed him
Prime Minister's Special Representative for Relations with Russia Zurab Abashidze has responded to Tedo Japaridze, the Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, which advised
We want fraternity with Ossetians and Abkhazians and today’s game was a clear demonstration of it - Irakli Gharibashvili
We don’t want to be enemies of Ossetian and Abkhazian brothers, we want fraternity with them and today’s game
“Georgia is a powerful and impressive partner” - US Assistant Secretary of Defense
“NATO's door remains open to new members,” Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs Derek Chollet said
“We must be candid, we must be critical enough” - Boris Cilevics on the Council of Europe Resolution
On October 1st the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) adopted a resolution on “the functioning of democratic institutions in Georgia.”
I want to apologize to all foreign citizens that had to face problems with regard to activation of the new visa policy – Irakli Gharibashvili
I want to apologize to all foreign citizens that had to face problems with regard to activation of the new visa policy, Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili said.
Norland asks Margvelashvili - How he will take on skeptics in Washington regarding Georgia’s obsession with the past
‘’How will you take on some of the skeptics who are still in Washington that wonder whether Georgia is still too obsessed to past and not the future?’’ - This is the question
Couple detained by Russian occupants in the conflict zone
Russian occupants have detained a couple near village Ikorta, controlled by Ossetians. They are Kakha Kazishvili and Zina Natriashvili. It happened near the Kveshi village, which is along the occupation border.
We want to start reconciliation with our Abkhazian and Ossetian brothers - Gharibashvili
We want to actually start the process of reconciliation with our Abkhazian and Ossetian brothers, the Prime Minister of Georgia told journalists
“Maybe this was a ‘rehearsal’ of Scottish independence”
Scotland remains in Great Britain’s fold. According to the referendum, 55 percent of Scots voted to stay with the UK, while 45 percent voted for independence.
Alasania's gamble or diplomatic fumble?
As Foreign Policy reported Tbilisi offered the US to train on Georgia territory Syrian rebels who are fighting against the ‘Islamic State.’ The publication claimed the information
Victory would be impossible without Bidzina Ivanishvili - Irakli Gharibashvili
The Georgian people chose life without fear on October 1, - Georgia’s PM Irakli Gharibashvili stated at the government chancellery. He addressed our society in relation to the second
Also on the Web
Maka Chichua, President Giorgi Margvelashvili’s wife, has made a statement summarizing her visit to Japan.
Have you ever been out in your local town or city, fancied a spot to eat and realized you’ve not got any money on you? Maybe you’ve left your cash at home.
During a recent live broadcast of the program “InternetPalitra” from “Palitra TV”, presenter Tamta Asatiani was unexpectedly kissed
President of Georgia Giorgi Margvelashvili and his wife Maka Chichua have been hosted by Japanese Emperor Akihito.
Air New Zealand would like to welcome you to Middle-earth with what it very justly calls: The Most Epic Safety Video Ever Made.
A lorry's onboard camera has caught the moment a car became wedged across the front of the cab as it travelled along the M25 near Gatwick, BBC reports.
Official music video for Georgia’s representative at Junior Eurovision, Lizi-Pop has been released. Тhe creative team of Bzikebistudio worked on the graphic video.
Source for this footage is an American show from the 80’s to which several Georgian dancers were invited while on their tour of the U.S.
Marika Darchia, Davit Lortkipanidze and Omar Mkheidze became the first to be awarded with the title of an “Accomplished Palace Graduate”.
A rally in support of Ukraine was held in front of the Ukrainian Embassy in Georgia, organized by a civil society forum “Eastern Partnership”.
GEL Exchange
EUR
1
EUR
2.2171
USD
1
USD
1.7525
GBP
1
GBP
2.8114
RUB
100
RUB
4.1916