Gvaramia Confirms Conversation Had with Saakashvili

Director of the Georgian TV Channel Rustavi 2 Nika Gvaramia has confirmed that the audiotapes over a ‘revolution scenario’ released by the Ukrainian media are authentic.

Gvaramia wrote on his Facebook page that the conversation was illegally recorded and “Big brother” is still watching and listening to people.

Late yesterday, Gvaramia held an emergency briefing in which he stated the conversation dated October 19 was real.

“First of all, Mikheil Saakashvil is my close friend. I am always interested in his opinion concerning various issues, but it doesn’t mean we share positions on everything,” he said, confirming that the audio is authentic, but stating that he does not share Saakashvili’s views about erecting barricades.

“Ten days passed and you can come and witness whether there is a single barricade there,” he said.

Audio-records of two conversations by former president Mikheil Saakashvili were published Thursday evening on the Ukrainian website http://uareview.in.ua.

The first involves a conversation with Nika Gvaramia, Director General of Rustavi 2, and the second with Giga Bokeria of the United National Movement, Saakashvili’s key ally in Georgia, as others either are jailed or have fled the country.

According to the first audio recording, Saakashvili asks Gvaramia about the Rustavi 2 court hearings and offers a scenario of revolution in case the court decision will be executed. The former president suggests Gvaramia erect barricades and metal barriers at the Rustavi 2 office and to find "gunmen" and says that ultimately everything will end in shooting.

In the second audiotape, Saakashvili discusses the same topic with Giga Bokeria, ex- secretary of the National Security Council of Georgia. He expresses his dissatisfaction with the poor reaction of ‘idiot foreigners’.

Bokeria makes the former president and now Odessa governor in Ukraine familiar with developments on and inside Rustavi 2. Saakashvili remarks that journalists might be confuzed, but Gvaramia ought to reassure them.

The conversation goes on in detail as to how the scenario might develop. According to Saakashvili, the Court would make its decision on October 22 and authorities would implement the decision immediately by forcefully taking over the channel.

Bokeria replied it is hard to mobilize many people, but Saakashvili suggests that it doesn’t matter much. He says the most important thing is not to allow court ruling enforcers to take over the building of Rustavi 2 TV.
“(They) shouldn’t enter (the building) without shooting,” Saakashvili said.

“I said, Nika, there might be shooting, you should be ready for it,” Saakashvili says. “We should show that we can hold a physical showdown. If we can’t, we are worth nothing… and if they shoot, let them shoot. What else we can do?”

Then the two discuss details of defending the building, including the possibility of erecting metal barriers against riot police.

Today, Bokeria also confirmed the authenticity of the published audiotape and said he didn't view it as being something extraordinary.

As Bokeria told Imedi TV, the tape proves two things. "One thing is that illegal wiretapping continues in the country and the second thing is that Gvaramia’s earlier statement that a middleman sent by the government, threatened him that his conversation with Saakashvili would be published, proved to be true,” said Bokeria.

Bokeria emphasized that if there are attempts to hush up Rustavi 2, they will protect the TV channel physically.

Meanwhile, tonight, the State Security Service announced a press conference for the morning, scheduled at 11am.

The topic of the press conference has yet to be specified.

30 October 2015 01:09