Denis Keefe, the British ambassador to Georgia, expressed protest about use of archive footage of him in, as he put it, “irresponsible” Imedi TV’s fake report and said it was “discourtesy” to him.
“Imedi’s use of archive footage of me speaking about real events completely unrelated to the subject of the programme was deeply misleading, as was the suggestion that the President of Georgia and the British Prime Minister had spoken about the non-existent events described,” Denis Keefe said in a statement on March 16.
The British ambassador’s archive footage, where he speaks to reporters with Georgian voiceover translation, was used in a segment of the fake report in which journalist tells viewers about a meeting of Georgian Foreign Minister with Tbilisi-based western diplomats. Archive footage of French and Czech ambassadors to Georgia was also used in the same segment.
“I wish to make clear that neither I, nor the UK Government had any involvement in or foreknowledge of an irresponsible programme that unnecessarily caused deep concern amongst the Georgian public,” Ambassador Keefe said.
“I consider Imedi TV's misuse of this footage to be a discourtesy to me as Ambassador of the United Kingdom in Georgia, reflecting badly on Georgia's reputation for responsible and independent media.”
“I would be grateful if Imedi TV would make clear as soon as possible, on air, and with the same prominence that they gave to the original report, that this footage was not genuine and that it was used without my consent or knowledge,” he said.