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Khukhashvili responds to accusations

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Tuesday, December 4
Gia Khukhashvili, an economic analyst and a suporter of the Georgian Dream coalition, responded to various questions and accusations directed towards him at the Maestro Press Club, on December 4. It has been speculated that Khukhashvili was one of the key figures in the government’s decisions making and staff policy direction.

Several former members of Channel 9 also accused Khukhashvili in leading the current unpleasant reorganization of the channel.

According to Irakli Absandze former regional newscast producer of Channel 9, things on Channel 9 are ongoing as it was expressed in that secret video material spread by United National Movement against the coalition during the pre-election period.

On this recording, Gia Khukhashvili speaks to Irakli Garibashvili, (current Interior Minister) about the necessity of the Georgian Dream Coalition exercising control over Channel 9.

“Khukhashvili himself expresses resentment over the way the newscast is operating, and thus underlines the necessity of change in the management of the Channel. In the audio recording Khukhashvili stresses the importance of Luba Eliashvili being appointed to channel 9's general director post,” Absandze said

“Luba is going to re-build [the channel]…She must be the leader…Charging head on,” Khukhashvilli stated in the video material.

Even in pre-election period the coalition stated that the materials were falsified. Khukhashvili confirmed that the voice and some phrases in the material really belonged to him. However, a large section of the video material was truly fabricated.

During the recent press conference Khukhashvili repeated the same and emphasized that he was not really satisfied with the broadcasting of the channel 9. He also spoke on the necessity of changes in the format and style. However, he strongly denied any participation in the process.

“I did not really like the style of Tamar Rukhadze (former head of Channel 9’s news service). The stories were being installed in the same way as in those TV channels that were being ruled by the previous government. It has been a month now and some rumors are being circulated about me and my connection with the channel’s changes,” Khukhashvili said.

Khukhashvili also responded to the statements made by the chair of the NGO Our Georgia, Eliso Kiladze. She emphasized that she has received “trusty information” that Ivanishvili dismissed Khukhashvili from his service due to incorrect staff policy.

Kiladze underscored that people on the high posts have been appointed through the patronage of Khukhashvili without any competition on the posts. For example, Lasha Natsvlishvili (deputy Interior Minister) and Koka Guntsadze (head of Railway Supervisory Council).

Khukhashvili denied the accusations and underscored that he really had a meeting with Ivanishvili face to face and it is impossible for Kiladze to have any information concerning the content of the meeting.

“Her statements can not be taken as serious,” Khukhashvili stated, adding that no one was appointed on official posts through his assistance.

“I do not know the names of the individuals that have been connected with my name. It is absurd… Natsvlishvili and Guntsadze both have contacts and close relations with the current government and why should they have been appointed through my patronage,” Khukhashvili said.

Khukhashvili also made comments regarding ongoing political issues.