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Russian lower house calls to open criminal case against Georgian TV host

The parliamentarians seek to get Gabunia extradited to Russia
Rustavi-2 headquarters REUTERS/David Mdzinarishvili
Rustavi-2 headquarters
© REUTERS/David Mdzinarishvili

MOSCOW, July 8. /TASS/. Russia’s State Duma (lower parliament house) called for the extradition of Giorgi Gabunia, a host of Georgia’s Rustavi-2 TV channel who used foul language to scold the Russian president, to Russia, to charge him with criminal offence, Duma speaker Vyacheslav Volodin said on Monday.

"This was said at a meeting of the State Duma Council. All agreed that it is necessary to institute criminal proceedings against the Georgian national who behaved in a rude way, throwing insults at the head of state. It is necessary to have him extradited to Russia so that our court pronounces a verdict under our country’s laws," Volodin said. "Only this way: to put him on the wanted list, spot him and have him extradited to Russia."

Giorgi Gabunia, a host of Georgia’s Rustavi-2 TV channel, earlier went into a rant, spewing forth several crude comments about the Russian authorities in his Post Scriptum program.

Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili, Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze, Parliament Speaker Archil Talakvadze, the Georgian Foreign Ministry, former Parliament Speaker Irakli Kobakhidze, Tbilisi Mayor Kakha Kaladze, and ex-Foreign Minister Mikheil Janelidze strongly condemned the incident. Nika Gvaramia, Director General of the Rustavi-2 TV channel, likewise criticized Gabunia for his remarks. The TV host’s statements also triggered a backlash from a large number of Facebook users in Georgia.

Russia has urged international organizations to react to the unacceptable attacks on the Russian leadership on the Georgian TV channel, the Russian Foreign Ministry commentary issued on Monday reads.