Ilnar Gorelishvili wrote a regular column for a newspaper, aiming to expose corruption in public service. One article, published in July 2000, concerned a politician with close links to the government and his ownership of several properties. It included a picture of his summer house, which was described as “a palace”. Ms Gorelishvili compared the value of the properties to the politician’s salary, questioned how he could have acquired so many assets in public service alone, and suggested that it may have come from political corruption.
The politician sued Ms Gorelishvili and her editor for defamation. The Georgian courts ruled in favour of the politician. It ordered the journalists to pay damages and publish a correction.
Ms Gorelishvili took her case to the European Court of Human Rights.