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TV Talk-Show Ex-Anchor Articulates Position
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 7 Jul.'06 / 17:17

Eka Khoperia, ex-anchor of a popular political talk-show on Rustavi 2 television, said on Friday that her statement made during the live program on July 6 did not mean that the television’s top management was pressuring her.

Eka Khoperia, an anchor of the weekly Tavisupali Tema (Free Theme), announced during the live program on July 6 that she resigns, refusing to follow “unacceptable” demands.

Sandro Girgvliani's high-profile murder case was the topic of Eka Khoperia’s talk show on July 6. Khoperia announced during the live program that she wanted to interview Data Akhalaia, ex-chief of the Interior Ministry’s Department for Constitutional Security. Akhalaia has been accused by the Girgvliani relatives, as well as some human right groups and opposition parties of being behind this murder case.

She said that there were “several demands and requests” from the governmental officials to interview Data Akhalaia in the end of the program. But she refused to unveil the name of those governmental officials who were pressuring her.

“15 minutes before the program I was told [by the government official] via phone that Data Akhalaia should be the last guest - I can not, naturally, name this person,” Khoperia said, but denied that this person was Interior Minister Vano Merabishvili.

Although she said that there were “demands and requests” she refrained to describe them as a pressure.

“I can not say that it was pressure; it was a demand which was unacceptable for me,” Khoperia added.

But she reiterated the statement made during the live program and said that she still believes that the Interior Minister must resign because of the Girgvliani murder case.

“I think that after the journalist makes this kind of statement publicly it is no longer possible to host the political talk-show,” Khoperia said.

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