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Ex-Defense Minister Kezerashvili to establish TV company

By Tea Mariamidze
Friday, August 2
Davit Kezerashvili, Former Minister of Defense of Georgia on November 10, 2006 – December 5, 2008, has announced his plans to establish a TV platform.

Ex-minister explains that recent developments in the country have encouraged him to make a significant decision about his involvement in the Georgian public life.

“Civil society is being born in front of us – the new generation wants to play an active role in the development of our country. Hope has emerged that Georgia’s path to the West will be defended not only by some parties and political groups but by society and new generation,” Kezerashvili wrote on Facebook.

He also writes that it is “extremely dangerous” that the mainstream media is concentrated in the hands of the ruling team - Georgian Dream (GD).

“This reality brings us back to the vicious circle we have experienced for decades, whereas we should have learned a lesson,” he noted.

Kezerashvili believes that fight against Russia’s propaganda machine needs constant activity and the western choice of the Georgian people needs to be protected.

“That is why I have decided to set up a new television platform together with our friends in order to provide this protection. A platform that will support not any particular party, group, or elite unity - but the whole civil society, the voice of freedom and progress in our country,” he writes, adding the new television platform will uphold the highest standards of free and impartial journalism.

Ex-official also says he has begun negotiations with Georgia’s friends in the United States and Europe to set up a solid supervisory board in order to ensure the editorial independence of the channel from the outset.

“I hope that a strong team will be staffed with well-known and highly-trusted journalists as well as new faces soon and the television will be ready to air in the shortest possible time,” the statement reads.

To note, Kezerashvili is the close ally of Georgia’s ex-President Mikheil Saakashvili, who is not in exile and cannot arrive in Georgia due to various charges against him.

Kezerashvili was dismissed from his post of the defense minister on December 5, 2008, during a significant cabinet shuffle. His dismissal was expected in the aftermath of Georgia’s defeat in the August 2008 war, after which the country lost 20% of its territories.

In January and February 2013, multiple criminal charges, including corruption, were brought by the GD government against Kezerashvili. In October 2013, he was detained in Aix-en-Provence, France, pending hearing on extradition to Georgia.

In February 2014, Kezerashvili was released under electronic monitoring, and the French court refused to extradite him on account of what “appeared to be politically motivated” request from Georgia.

In the near future, creation of two TV stations has been announced in Georgia. The former director-general of Rustavi 2 Nika Gvaramia talks about the establishment of the television and Formula Creative plans to set up the TV Company. According to yet unconfirmed information, Kezerashvili will finance new television of Formula Creative.