It was at the Meliá Castilla Hotel in Madrid on May 12, 2017 when a known German journalist for Huffington Post was in the lobby of the hotel. It was the day the UNWTO Executive committee elected a nominee for the position of the UNWTO Secretary General. According to the rules of procedure and calendar for the election of the Secretary General of the Organization for the period 2018-21, rule 5 (e) states: The election of one nominee by the Council shall be conducted, in accordance with Rule 29 of the Councils rules of Procedure, during a private meeting, part of which shall be a restrictive meeting as follows:
(i) discussion of candidates shall be conducted during a restrictive private meeting at which only voting delegations and interpreters shall be present; there shall be no written record and no tape recording of the discussions.
Delegates competing for the job made their presentation and previously presented their credentials and qualifications. Anyone would think the secret discussion among members of the executive council is important and will have a great influence on the final vote.
Out of obvious reasons delegates were not allowed to be part of this secret meeting.
Candidate Ambassador Pololikashvili from Georgia was one of the candidates competing for the UNWTO Secretary General nomination and had to wait outside the room for the discussion to end and the vote to be conducted.
What about if he was secretly attending the meeting by SKYPE using his Smartphone? What about him talking to his collaborator in a conspiracy to influence the voting process? WorldTourismWire had alleged this for some time and is now able to report about a sworn statement a German journalist who writes for Huffington Post presented to a notary or judge on August 4, 2017 in Berlin.
He stated under oath:
Herewith I declare under oath: I was born on December 31, 1963 in Luebeck, Germany. I am aware of the criminal penalties involved in giving a false statement.
I am a journalist and spent the morning and early afternoon on May 12 in the back of the hotel lobby at the Melia Castilla, Calle del Poeta Joan Maragall, 43 Madrid.
I was covering the 105th meeting of the UNWTO Executive Council. The highlight of the event was the election of the future Secretary General. First I sat with my assistant close to the stairs, so I could overlook the meeting rooms. They were located one floor below. Even though I was accredited as a journalist UNWTO did not allow us to enter the meeting rooms.
Therefore we sat in the lobby. Close to us, I noticed a number of people belonging to the Georgian delegation. I was able to testify to this since I noticed one member of the group, a former military attache at the Georgian embassy in Berlin. I cannot remember the name, but I could easily research.
The behavior of the group was strange. I was constantly watched with suspicion. When the election came closer (around 12.00 noon), the group tried to isolate themselves a bit more. They were all gathering around a mobile phone. I was able to (without a doubt) see the phone was connected directly to the restricted meeting of the Executive Council.
I was able to hear the broadcast from the meeting quite clearly After the apparent first round of the election delegates started to cheer. It happened before any indication was available from the room to anyone outside. I understood the delegation reported the result of the first election round.
The same situation repeated itself at the final election round. A loud cheer started among the 12-15 members of the Georgian delegation in the hotel foyer. The result was not known outside the election room at that time.
After the election, a person and member of the Georgian Delegation and a person I knew said they (The Georgians) were able to pull a “masterpiece.”
END OF STATEMENT.
eTN publisher Juergen T Steinmetz was sitting in the same area and was talking to the ZImbabwe candidate Hon. Walter Mzembi. He clearly noticed the person on the phone was Ambassador Zurab Pololikashvili, now a nominee for Secretary General of the UNWTO.