US Embassy Releases Statement about Adjara TV

The United States Embassy to Georgia has released a statement regarding the recent developments around Adjara TV, where two members of the board are requesting impeachment of the Director Natia Kapanadze.

The statement reads that as strong supporters of a free and independent media, the U.S. Embassy welcomed recent assessments by both ODIHR and EU-UNDP that Ajara Public Broadcaster is an impartial media source.

“We are following the developments around the broadcaster and its general director, Natia Kapanadze.  We hope the outlet and its leadership will continue to play a positive role in the development of independent media in Georgia,” the statement reads.

A complaint requesting Kapanadze’s impeachment was filed with the board of advisors on April 10 by two board members Giga Chkhartishvili and Irakli Dartsmelidze. 

The two men list 17 issues in their complaint, which, according to them, give substantial grounds for starting the impeachment procedures. Among the problems are alleged misappropriation of funds, tenders and procurements and “discriminatory and unfair remuneration system.” 

A few days later, Adjara TV and Radio Company responded to the allegations, saying in the last few years the Company has demonstrated being objective and impartial and that it has established itself as a broadcaster that is free from political and commercial bias. 

Georgia’s Public Defender, Nino Lomjaria, also made a statement regarding the issue. She says the process raises questions, as the broadcaster has the reputation of being independent and impartial.

“This is a terrible and very dangerous signal for any person who, even in the future, decides to become the head of this television,” the Ombudsman said, adding the issue of possible impeachment might be politically motivated.

By Thea Morrison

 

 

19 April 2019 10:28
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