The head of news services of the Main Channel, Nodar Meladze arrived at the Prosecutor’s Office on September 5 for questioning. He was met with his supporters near the investigative body.
Head of Main Channel’s news services questioned at Prosecutor’s Office
By Nika Gamtsemlidze
Monday, October 7
The Prosecutor’s Office is investigating the case of possible misappropriation of funds by the former management of Rustavi 2.
According to the Prosecutor’s Office, Meladze was summoned at the investigating body to be questioned about the “abuse of powers against the legal interest of the broadcasting company Rustavi 2, misappropriation of large sums of money, and misappropriation of property through fraudulent and/or hypocritical transactions.”
“This whole process is one big masquerade, which aims to threaten and intimidate critical media, which is free from the influence of the government. They want us to be afraid and they are trying to create discomfort for us so we stop doing our job, but it will never happen,” said Meladze.
According to Meldaze, "there will be critical media in this country. For a country not to fall into the swamp of dictatorship, critical media is necessary.”
Many expressed their solidarity and gathered in support of him at the Prosecutor's Office, including journalists from competing mainstream media. Nanuka Zhorzholiani, Inga Grigolia, Vato Tsereteli and Diana Trapaidze came to the Prosecutor's Office.
The investigative body accuses Nika Gvaramia, former director of Rustavi 2, for actions, as a result of which the company was unable to receive GEL 6 763 510.
On October 3, within the framework of the same investigation, Giorgi Laperashvili, the chief of the Formula TV news service and Zaal Udumashvili, a former deputy director general of Rustavi 2, were interviewed at the Prosecutor’s Office.
Several years of litigation over the owner of Rustavi 2 has ended with the victory of Kibar Khalvashi in the European Court of Human Rights ruling. Within a month of Khalvashi's win, Paata Salia, the new director of Rustavi 2, fired the best-known faces of the channel. Salia explained that anyone who opposes the channel and its owner cannot be employed.
Anchors of the main news program, Kurieri also left the company and along with other well-known faces managed to establish a new broadcasting company, the Main Channel in about a month.
Other former employees of Rustavi 2 established another channel, Formula. The channel was created by the Formula Creative, which is best known for creating one of the most popular Georgian TV shows of all time, “My Wife's Girlfriends”. The company was established in 2007 and since then has created many popular projects, including Channel 3. They also own part of an online media outlet, on.ge.