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Prepared by Diana Dundua
Thursday, January 17

“Kote Gabashvili: Giorgi Targamadze’s party will be financed by Badri Patarkatsishvili!”

Akhali Taoba reports that Kote Gabashvili, the influential chair of the parliamentary Foreign Relations Committee, had harsh words for former Imedi TV anchor Giorgi Targamadze in a recent press conference.

Speaking to journalists, Gabashvili said Targamadze’s recently-announced political party would be financed by fugitive business tycoon Badri Patarkatsishvili, something the ex-journalist has denied.

Targamadze, a former spokesman for ousted Adjara dictator Aslan Abashidze’s party, never really left politics, Gabashvili continued. While at Imedi, Gabashvili said, Targamadze frequently played a political role.

“I am skeptical about claims of Targamadze and Patarkatsishvili parting ways, and I’m sure that when Targamadze creates his new party it will be financed by [Patarkatsishvili],” Gabashvili said.

“We knew perfectly well that Giorgi Targamadze was preparing to return to politics, and that he would become leader of Patarkatsishvili’s party,” Gabashvili concluded.

In a covertly recorded videotape released in December, Patarkatsishvili’s former campaign chief suggested Targamadze would assist with propaganda in a post-election coup attempt and reenter politics.

“The TV program ‘Droeba’ will be broadcast on Georgian Public Broadcasting”

Six journalists who quit Imedi TV in December will start broadcasting their popular feature stories program, “Droeba,” on the state-owned public broadcaster, according to Sakartvelos Respublika.

On January 15, Dachi Grdzelishvili, Zaza Tsuladze, Soso Barnabishvili, Rusudan Tskhomelidze and Liza Vachnadze announced the formation of new independent studio, Akhali Droeba, to produce the program.

The journalists left Imedi TV after an imbroglio involving incriminating tapes of station founder Badri Patarkatsishvili, who is accused of plotting to overthrow the state.

“When we left Imedi TV we stated we would always protect our professional dignity. We think that an independent studio is the best way to do this,” the journalists said in a joint statement.

“Droeba” will go back on-air in March, they said. Their choice of a new home network was telling in light of widespread accusations of political bias against all Georgian television stations.

“We chose the public broadcaster because this TV station is owned by the public, and not any single person. We will do our best to make the most objective and pleasant reporting,” one of the journalists said.

“Shalva Natelashvili hospitalized”

Akhali Taoba reports a Labor Party press statement saying party leader Shalva Natelashvili was hospitalized earlier this week with heart problems.

“The recent physical, political and information terror, the illegal, unfair election campaign and the overall fraud of election results have taken a toll on Natelashvili’s health, making his hospitalization inevitable,” the party’s press service said.