A number of leaders in the ruling Georgian Dream Party have lashed out at the country’s non-governmental sector over their criticism of the government’s handling of the Omega tapes scandal. Fifteen prominent NGOs have joined together to demand action over the secret recordings, labelling them a ‘clear sign of grand corruption and informal clan rule in Georgia’.
A former Georgian minister caught on tape allegedly extorting money and cars from a businessman on behalf of former PM Bidzina Ivanishvili has claimed the recordings were staged for the benefit of foreign investors. [Read more…]
Georgia’s former Sports Minister Levan Kipiani was kidnapped, beaten, and threatened to have his ‘honour violated’, over pressure being applied to Omega Group in 2016, the company’s owner and founder Zaza Okuashvili has alleged in an interview with Rustavi 2. Omega Group owns popular TV station Iberia TV.
A secret audio recording released on Friday suggests that former Georgian sports minister Levan Kipiani attempted to extort expensive cars for other ministers from Omega Group, a business group that owns local TV channel Iberia TV. The authenticity of the recording has not yet been verified, but this is the second secret audio recording released in recent weeks suggesting the government is applying pressure on Omega Group. [Read more…]
Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili has denied accusations of pressuring the media, after both Iberia TV and TV Pirveli accused the government of coercion. [Read more…]