MP Sues Parliamentary Speaker
06 October, 2011

Will Davit Bakradze indemnify 1 Lari?
MP Dimitri Lortkipanidze is suing the Parliamentary Speaker Davit Bakradze for his tarnished reputation.

The matter has to do with the statement made by Bakradze during the 17 September Parliamentary Session.

 


Bakradze said that some MPs extort money from the families of prisoners. MP Lortkipanidze perceived this remark as addressed to him personally and hence demanded the explanation of  Bakradze’s words. It happened during a hot debate, when the Parliamentary Speaker accused Lortkipanidze of extorting

money from the families of prisoners. Even though the accusation was not directly addressed to Lortkipanidze, the offensive words were uttered during very personal argument of Bakradze with Lortkipanidze. It remains to be seen as to what made Bakradze say what he said.
Everything started from the protests of ‘Unity for Justice’ faction regarding the exclusion of  Lortkipanidze from the permanent Parliamentary delegations. Bakradze became the target of Lortkipanidze’s criticism when he voiced the said accusation against Lortkipanidze.
The withdrawal of Lortkipanidze from the permanent contingent of OSCE, SUAM and Orthodox inter-parliamentary delegations was the job of Gia Tortladze, Chair of faction ‘Strong Georgia’ because Lortkipanidze used to hold these seats through this faction before he became a member of another faction ‘Unity for Justice’. All in all, he had to forego the quotas he enjoyed thanks to the previous faction membership.
The opposition MP Jondi Baghaturia asked the Parliament, why his faction was being persecuted, attacked and why it was denied quotas in the Parliamentary Speakerat, as well as in the international organizations. Baghaturia’s complain was followed by the statement of Davit Lortkipanidze, who termed his exclusion as a fulfillment of a latent order. Hot debates unleashed around the topic, which transformed into verbal confrontation and if not for the energy of the parliamentary guards, physical fight would have ensued between the Majority and Minority.
“I am – the whole faction is - being persecuted because of numerous accusations. I will not leave this question without attention. I am going to inform all international organizations that my faction is artificially deprived of international political life. And You, Mr. Bakradze, back such things,” – Dimitri Lortkipanidze scolded the Parliamentary Speaker, calling him to stop throwing parties for his Facebook buddies at Kopala restaurant, using the money from the Parliamentary budget.
Bakradze fell short of specifying exactly who among the MPs was extorting money from prisoners’ families. Nor had he related his accusation to Dimitri Lortkipanidze. He only stated that meeting with the public, direct contact and encouragement of the activity of civil society is a good example on the part of the MP, while money extortion is not.
“I can say what a bad example is. It’s bad when you are trying to extort money from the families of prisoners in exchange of empty promises. In contrast, meeting with public is a good example. It is up to the public to say who gives good or bad example,” –Bakradze said to MPs.
It needs to be noted that when the Chair of the Parliament makes such statement, it is certainly viewed as very significant and it’s arguable that it was made without evidence, especially when the matter is of potential criminal concern. A crime allegedly committed by an MP implies stripping him or her of immunity and instituting legal proceedings against him/her.
Lortkipanidze is suing Bakradze. It is noteworthy that after Bakradze’s statement, the faction and Lortkipanidze himself demanded the proof from Bakradze.
Lortkipanidze says that Bakradze’s libeling stirred a lively interest in public and sees it expedient to place everything on legal rails. He added that in his interview to TV Company Maestro, Pavle Kublashvili, Chair of Parliamentary Legal Committee, confirmed that this kind of compromising information is available at relevant competent organs not only concerning Lortkipanidze but other MPs as well. However, he did not reveal the identity of “other MPs”.
“My professional reputation, honor and dignity have been compromised,” – declared Lortkipanidze. He announced that he will submit a formal complaint against Davit Bakradze to Tbilisi City Court seeking 1 Lari symbolic indemnity from Bakradze for his compromised reputation.
Lortkipanidze will be represented in the court by lawyer Nino Nishnianidze. She pointed out that the case could be viewed in two dimensions. First, the Chair of the Parliament infringed on the MPs dignity. Second, if he had information and he did not reveal it, his behavior could be considered as a criminal cover-up.

 

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