Case No. 1704/06

Judgment date: 27/01/09

Ramishvili and Kokhreidze were co-founders and shareholders of a media company which owned a TV station broadcasting in Tbilisi. The first applicant was also the anchorman of a popular talk show. Both were arrested in August 2005 and charged with extortion in relation to a payment made in exchange for not broadcasting a potentially embarrassing documentary about an allegedly corrupt parliamentarian. On 29 August 2005, the applicants were detained on a court order for three months, but remained in detention without further authorisation from 27 November 2005 to 13 January 2006. During various hearings, the two applicants appeared before the court in a barred dock which looked very much like a metal cage and surrounded by masked men with machine guns. In addition, they could barely communicate with their lawyers, could not properly hear the prosecutor or judge and could hardly make their submissions audible due to the turmoil in the courtroom. Both applicants complained that their treatment during court proceedings was degrading within the meaning of Art. 3. The first applicant also complained under Art. 3 in respect of the conditions of his confinement in a punishment cell. The second applicant complained in respect of overcrowding in his ordinary prison cell where between 29-35 people shared 12 beds. The men applied for judicial review of their detention and challenged the fairness and speediness of those proceedings.

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