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Rustavi 2 TV announces rally

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Thursday, February 16
Director General of the Rustavi 2 private broadcaster, ex-Minister of Justice during UNM rule Nika Gvaramia, has called on the public, as well as all those who like or dislike the channel, to gather in front of the Parliament building in central Tbilisi on Sunday afternoon to defend the channel, as, according to him, the current Georgian Dream government is doing its best to close Rustavi 2.

The rally was scheduled before the Supreme Court announces its final verdict about the channel, as the Tbilisi City Court and the Court of Appeals have already delivered their verdicts in favour of the former owners of Rustavi 2.

Meanwhile, Gvaramia has also been summoned for questioning over a leaked audio recording, in which he allegedly offers millions to the former head of Tbilisi City Court, Mamuka Akhvlediani.

Gvaramia denied the offer and stressed the recording was illegally stolen from his personal computer and then was heavily edited.

He said he didn’t believe in the integrity of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, and demanded questioning in the courts. The demand was satisfied.

The opposition says the closure of Rustavi 2, a popular TV channels in Georgia (and is considered as an opposition broadcaster), is in the Government’s interest.

The Government denies the accusations, and says the issue concerns only the broadcaster’s current and former shareholders.

On August 7 2015, former owner of Rustavi 2 Kibar Khalvashi initiated a lawsuit against the current owners of the public broadcaster, claiming he was illegally deprived of his company shares under the United National Movement (UNM) government.

On November 3, Tbilisi City Court delivered its verdict – 100 percent of his shares would be returned to Khalvashi.

On June 10 2016, the Tbilisi Court of Appeals upheld the ruling of the lower court in favour of Kibar Khalvashi.