Law
Footage that Shook Entire Public
21 February, 2013
Footage that Shook Entire Public
Where has it been for all these nine years?

A fresh new scandal on the Buta Robakidze’s case (a high profile story of the young man’s killing by a police bullet) has just gained a momentum. Irakli Pirtskhalava, former Head of Didube-Chughureti Police Department, submitted a new video footage to the General Prosecutor’s Office. The footage aired only on Rustavi 2 allegedly shows what really happened on 23 November 2004.
A new scandal connected with Buta Robakidze’s case (a high
profile story of the young man, killed by a policeman’s bullet) has just gained a momentum. Irakli Pirtskhalava, former Head of Didube-Chughureti Police Department, submitted a new video recording to the General Prosecutor’s Office. The footage aired only on Rustavi 2 TV, allegedly shows what really happened on 23 November, 2004. After that, other TV channels relayed it too. By the look of it, the law enforcers found a pistol and machine gun on the scene. According to Rustavi 2, this footage is an incomplete material obtained by Pirtskhalava. The latter asserts that he conducted his own investigation and found out that no one from that ill-fated car was actually a friend of Buta Robakidze, except one who was his acquaintance.

“Buta Robakidze happened to be in that car only by sheer coincidence. The car was spotted in the incident during a physical fight at Dinamo Stadium. As someone was wounded in that incident, police received the order to stop the above mentioned car,” – stated Pirtskhalava. He says he cannot understand why the policemen who were on the scene at the time lied during the current new round of the investigation (the policemen admitted they found no weapon in the car).
Guram Donadze, former Head of Public Relations Service of the Ministry, believes that the video footage disseminated by the former Head of Didube-Chughureti Police Department, the case has been solved.
“Where is the weaponry allegedly brought to the scene and nested by Guram Donadze? From the moment this footage is aired, I place all the responsibility for my life and health on the investigation and also policemen featured on the footage,” –Donadze maintained.
Interestingly, just several days ago Buta Robakidze’s mother Ia Metreveli and former VideoPatrol journalist Gocha Mukbaniani held a joint press-conference where Mukbaniani recalled the events that unfolded on 23 November 2004 and accused Guram Donadze, former Head of Public Relations Service of the Ministry, of pressuring them. Mukbaniani said that in light of pressure applied on him by Donadze he cannot reveal the details of those events. He claimed that Donadze threatened to evaporate his corpse had he disclosed the truth.
“When we arrived to the scene, Buta Robakidze was still alive. There was no weapon in the car where he sat together with other five persons. Then the squabble between the patrol officers and the guys followed. One of the officers Giorgi Bashaleishvili strangled hands of Buta Robakidze. It was at this moment when the gun was shot but I did not hear it because of the noise around. Yet, I heard how Robakidze fell to the ground,” – recalls Mukbaniani.
Ia Metreveli intends to approach the Prosecutors’ Office and demand expertise of the video footage submitted by Irakli Pirtskhalava.
Media experts and journalists express protest against publishing the extremely disturbing footage of the Robakidze’s killing. Journalist Zviad Koridze says that the footage is in no way conducive of public interest. The lawyer Tamar Kordzaia believes that the actions of Rustavi 2 are absolutely unjustified.
The footage was further shown by Imedi, Ninth Channel and Maestro TV channels.
Nino Bekishvili, Editor-in-Chief of Liberali magazine says that Rustavi 2 and all the other channels which broadcast this infamous video violated the journalistic ethics.
Nino Bekishbvili, Liberali Editor-in-Chief: “Definitely Rustavi 2 violated the norms of journalistic ethics by having broadcast the footage given to them by Pirtskhalava. Certainly, the public has the interest in it but what was the new in the footage other than extreme, grievous moments? These moments were watched by parents and close ones of the killed young man traumatizing them furthermore unnecessarily. If they aimed to whitewash the killer policemen then they failed in their pursuit.”
Zviad Koridze, media expert: “It’s a fact that certain moments should not have been broadcast. They are not for television because they belittle human dignity. You cannot show the deceased just like that. Also, absolutely every police officer participating in this operation is recognizable. This is circumstance also unacceptable. It’s an ethical problem. Whatever the public interest, such a thing should not be done by any TV channel especially when the footage actually does not satisfy any public interest. Question marks that the public holds over the case have not been answered at all. Accordingly, media needs to be more sensitive when broadcasting such footage.”
According to General Prosecutor Archil Kbilashvili, the footage will facilitate the ongoing investigation even more. At this stage, he finds it hard to comment in detail on the footage but hopes that the material would help the investigation.
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