The British and US Embassies reacted harshly to the verdict of the Tbilisi City Court which found Nika Gvaramia, general director of the opposition TV channel Mtavari and former lawyer of ex-President Saakashvili, guilty of abuse of power in the Rustavi 2 TV channel case and sentenced him to 3.5 years in prison and a fine. Diplomats noted that this calls into question the rule of law in the country.
This is reported by "Novosti-Georgia.
The U.S. Embassy said the court ruling calls into question Georgia's commitment to the rule of law.
"This case initially raised questions, including the timing and the charges. The troubling pattern of selective investigations and prosecutions against those in opposition to the current government undermines public confidence in the police, prosecutors, courts and the government itself," the embassy said in a statement.
The embassy notes that this hurts Georgia at a time when the country has an unprecedented opportunity to deepen Euro-Atlantic integration.
Acting British Ambassador Claire Albless said she was disappointed with the court's ruling.
"This is particularly telling in the context of the latest Reporters Without Borders report, in which Georgia's ranking in the International Media Freedom Index has dropped significantly," she said.