Former Rustavi2 Director May Open New TV Channel

Nika Gvaramia, suspended director of TV company Rustavi2, said he may open a new TV channel.

Gvaramia was suspended as the result of a dispute over the broadcasting company's ownership over which Tbilisi City Court Judge Tamaz Urtmelidze ruled a few days ago.

According to the Georgian online edition, Gvaramia has officially denied to comment on the issue. However, the deputy General Director of Rustavi2, Zaal Udumashvili, told Netgazeti that they were discussing the option in theory.

“This issue has only been discussed at the theoretical level, in case if extreme measures would be taken and we had to leave the television. And the Prime Minister also advised us to open a new TV channel a few days ago,” Udumashvili said.

Other Rustavi2 representatives also refrained from commenting.

According to Netgazeti, representatives of Rustavi2, who wanted to remain anonymous, confirmed to Netgazeti that the management was talking about starting a new channel.

According to the sources, Nika Gvaramia personally informed the staff about their plans and offered to join him.

The majority shareholder of the Rustavi2, Gia Karamanashvili, who holds 91% of the Rustavi 2 shares with his brother Levan Karamanashvili, said in an interview with Rustavi2 TV that the idea to open new TV station existed 2012, when the then Government moved into opposition.

“Why do I need Mikheil Saakashvili’s television? Of course not for political influences. After Saakashvili lost power and moved into the opposition and me and my brother saw that he needed TV for political reasons. We decided to sell our shares and create a new TV channel, which would be absolutely different from Rustavi2. Top management of the company knew about this,” Karamanashvili said.

Tbilisi City Court, on Thursday evening, terminated Rustavi 2’s General Director Nika Gvaramia’s right to manage the braodcaster. The court appointed two independent managers, Davit Dvali and Revaz Sakevarishvili, as provisional heads of Georgia’s largest TV Company until the Constitutional Court decides on the ownership issue. Dvali, and Sakervarishvili, are respectively, former co-owner of the company and the Deputy Director of rival TV Company Imedi.

Judge Tamaz Urtmelidze ruled that Kibar Khalvashi, the former owner of the TV company, could only takeover instantly if the registry would reflect his status properly.

Rustavi 2’s current management considered the ruling unlawful based on the Constitutional Court’s ruling three days ago to temporarily suspend the government’s right to immediately enforce decisions in first instance courts if they have been appealed to a higher court.

09 November 2015 17:03