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Covert audio material regarding illegal dealings are revealed

By Keti Arjevanidze
Wednesday, November 7
Covert audio material was spread on Maestro TV on October 6 regarding the dealings among the head of the Georgian National Communications Commission, Irakli Chikovani and lawyers of Caucasus Online. Giorgi Ratishvili, former head of the Commission’s Regulating Department, transferred the covert audio material to TV Maestro. The material was recorded in May of this year.

According to Ratishvili, Magti Sat was suing Caucasus Online because Caucasus Online was not buying the channels and was pirating cable channels illegally. According to the tape, Chikovani was saving the Caucasus Online cable provider.

“I cannot help, I was saving you over the last 10, 11 months, Magti Sat would have soon approached with a demand to stop the channels… I do not know what to do, I stopped Silknet; do you not think that it knows you possessed the concealed business? I cannot stop Magti Sat, it is impossible,” includes the tape.

According to the recorded material, it is known that there are many channels with which Caucasus Online has not registered any agreement, which gives them the right to be on-air. Magti Sat became interested in this issue.

According to the tape, Chikovani appeals to the lawyers of Caucasus Online to act independently. “In this case I am a person who cannot help you, we will maximally stretch the time with supporting the information, but we cannot violate the terms, because now we have a war,” said Chikovani.

Ratishvili, the supplier of the covert information said that while he worked in at Regulating Commission, after checking Caucasus Online it appeared that they transferred the channels illegally. “It was not only about Caucasus Online, GMG (cable broadcaster) also was Chikovani’s favorite,” said Ratishvili and added that the agreements presented by GMG were not delivered to him, when the check-up was his obligation.

Ratishvili left the commission before the elections, after spreading the controversial videos that revealed the torture and mistreatment of prison inmates and joined the Georgian Dream Coalition.

The radio broadcasting company Hereti appeals to the head of the Georgian National Communications Commission, Irakli Chikovani and the members of the Commission to resign. According to the radio company, this case is about the rude interference in independent business. The radio broadcaster does not exclude the illegal distribution of broadcasting frequencies in Georgia. “That is the reason that radio Hereti does not have the right to broadcast in Tbilisi.”

Hereti appeals to the Tbilisi Court of Appeal to take into consideration all the circumstances and to make a relevant decision on the planned trial on November 7.

However, before any investigation can be initiated, it must be determined beforehand that the recordings being investigated are authentic and that they provide a justifiable basis for legal proceedings to commence.