The messenger logo

Rustavi 2 calls to unfreeze company’s assets

By Tea Mariamidze
Friday, December 30
Rustavi 2 TV Director General Nika Gvaramia made a special statement on Thursday and called on the government and the court to unfreeze the company’s assets.

Gvaramia says that if the assets are not unfrozen, the company will not be able to take out a loan, pay salaries to its employees and fulfill its financial obligations.

He underlined that the Supreme Court has not found time to examine the case any further.

The Director General stressed that he could not oblige anyone to work without salaries in the company, and the TV station would stop broadcasting if the assets were not unfrozen.

“Until now we have been paying all fees and salaries without any delays but now, due to the Constitutional Court and the government, we have found ourselves in this situation,” said Gvaramia, and expressed hope that the responsible people would make an adequate decision to solve the problem.

Gvaramia said that the government wanted to shut down Rustavi TV completely, or at least take control of the channel, and the decisions of the court were influenced by the authorities.

The Rustavi 2 case is one of the most notorious legal cases in Georgia. It is being discussed at present by the Grand Chamber of the Constitutional Court.

Rustavi 2 is appealing the decisions made by Tbilisi City Court and the Appellate Court on granting 100% of the TV company shares to former owner Kibar Khalvashi and his company Panorama.

Kiber Khalvashi, who was a co-owner of Rustavi 2 from 2004 to 2006, filed a lawsuit in August 2015 to reclaim his shares in Rustavi 2, saying he was illegally deprived of his company shares under the previous United National Movement (UNM) government.

On November 3, 2015, Tbilisi City Court delivered its verdict, which dictated that 100 percent of Rustavi 2’s shares would be returned to Khalvashi. The next day, Tbilisi City Court judge appointed two temporary managers to Rustavi 2. The reason for this was because the current managers, Gvaramia among them, had close connections with the previous state leadership.

The lawyers of Rustavi 2 appealed the decision to the Supreme Court, which on November 21 transferred the case to the Grand Chamber, which rules on cases that are particularly complicated and it is presided over by the Chairman of the Supreme Court.

Rustavi 2, popular channel in Georgia, played an important role in Rose Revolution in 2003. Eventually it became the propaganda device under the control of UNM leadership. Enjoying different types of benefits: high level of state financing, comfortable taxation regime and similar.