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September 26, 2011
Georgia: Maestro TV Crew Requests Return of Footage Made at President Owned Premises
Georgia: Maestro TV Crew Requests Return of Footage Made at President Owned Premises

Maestro TV journalists request police to return the video footage made at President Mikheil Saakashvili's premises in Kvareli on September 25.

The crew of Maestro show 'Without Accreditation', including its author Shalva Ramishvili, was detained during filming, taken out of the territory and the video equipment was confiscated.  Later police returned the equipment, but without memory cards and a microphone.

As Ramishvili describes on his page at social network facebook, his crew and he entered the territory, purchased by the President from a private person just recently (there is a vineyard and a country house at the territory) without any problem, despite the fact that there were policemen at the territory.

"No one asked were I was going.  Everyone was running away from us; policemen were hiding in the vineyard.  I was asking them - "whose house is this?  But they did not answer," Ramishvili recalls.  According to him President's premises did not have any entrance gates.

Ramishvili claims that a little later Kvareli police chief, wearing civil clothing, came later and took them outside the territory.

"I was standing there for a while, and then big young men attacked me, forced me into a car, took away my video-equipment and drove me outside the territory.  I was detained for about 15 minutes and finally they realized they were acting stupid, stopped the car and let me out; after they ran away.  They returned part of the equipment two hours later.  They are still keeping our memory cards and a microphone," Ramishvili says.

According to Kakheti Information Center a criminal case has been launched on the incident taken place in Georgian President's vineyard in Kvareli.  Kakheri Regional Department of Internal Affairs is not commenting officially, but according to certain sources investigation is underway according to the Article 160, part 3 of the Criminal Code.  According to the given Article of the Criminal Code trespassing, illegal search, or other activity in an apartment, or any private premises in group, without owner's permission and illegally is punished by a fine, or detainment from two to five months, or imprisonment for up to five years and prohibition of professional activity for up to three years


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