Secret tape recording disseminated by the Adjara Supreme Council Depute requires examination
Transparency International Georgia wrote in its blog post released on September 10, 2014, about the confrontation between the two ruling branches in Adjara Autonomous Republic: the Government and the Supreme Council. The situation was further aggravated after Medea Vasadze, the Georgian Dream faction member and the Human Rights Commission Chairperson in the AAR Supreme Council, released an audio recording on September 12, 2014 revealing her conversation with Parmen Jalaghonia, the Head of the Adjara Government Office Department for the Relations with the Supreme Council, According to the audio recording, Parmen Jalaghonia delivers Medea Vasadze a message from Archil Khabadze, the AAR Government Chairman, promising high-paid employment for Levan Jincharadze, the dismissed director of the oil refinery and Medea Vasadze’s brother-in-law (husband’s brother).
After the dissemination of the tape, our representative contacted Parmen Jalaghonia who did not dispute the tape’s authenticity and clarified that the recording featured a private conversation from the meeting he had in a café located near the Intourist hotel in Rustaveli Street, Batumi. He said that the meeting took place exclusively between him and Medea Vasadze with no one else present.
Speaking to our representative Mrs. Vasadze confirmed that, from time to time, she records private conversations to avoid possible future misunderstandings, especially when the initiative to meet comes from the Adjara government. Mrs. Vasadze told us that the audio tapes are recorded by her trustee. She added, however, that she did not know that her conversation with Mr. Jalaghonia was being recorded, since she does not tape conversations personally.
Mr. Jalaghonia, on the other hand, claims that the only persons present at the meeting were Mrs. Vasadze and himself. The circumstances require additional examination, as we might have to do with a criminal offence - violation of the secrecy of private communication punishable under article 158 of the Criminal Code of Georgia.
The conflict between the AAR Government and the Supreme Council was once again demonstrated when the AAR Finance and Economy Minister David Baladze gave a report at the Supreme Council plenary session held on September 18. At the session, Medea Vasadze accused Mr. Baladze of being engaged in corruption, which resulted in angry exchanges between the two. One of the reasons leading to the wrangle was the situation created in the oil refinery,
We consider that the AAR Government should not be trying to sort out the conflict with the Supreme Council by improper means, making individual deals and evading the law. At the same time, dissemination of the taped private conversations by Medea Vasadze should also be condemned. The current situation is a manifestation of an explicit conflict between the two groups in the AAR corridors of power. All of this can undermine the public trust in the high-ranking officials and imperil the efficient functioning of the AAR government agencies.