European Court of Human Rights to Deliver Verdict on Rustavi 2 Today

Today, at 12:00 PM Georgian time, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) will release its verdict on Rustavi 2 TV ownership dispute.

One of the main goals of the verdict is to reveal whether the rights of Rustavi 2 and its owners were violated at the Georgian courts.

The ownership of Rustavi 2 has a quite complicated history.

Established in 1994, the broadcasting company changed ownership many times between 2004 and 2012.

In March 2017 Georgia’s Supreme Court delivered a verdict in favor of its former shareholder (2004-2006) Kibar Khalvashi.

The European Court of Human Rights suspended the enforcement of the Georgian Supreme Court’s verdict.

Currently, Rustavi 2 is owned by LTD TV Sakartvelo (51%) and businessmen brothers Levan (22%) and Giorgi (18%) Karamanishvili.

The remaining 9% percent of the Channel belongs to Nino Nizharadze, who has recently demanded Investigation of Director General Nika Gvaramia’s Activities.

Rustavi 2 Shareholder Nino Nizharadze and her lawyer believe that Gvaramia abused his official authority and made decisions which were harmful to the TV Channel.  According to the lawyer, this is even visible from the financial documents belonging to the channel.

Nizhradze's complaint refers to the relationship between R2 and advertising house Intermedia. According to Kavlashvili, the TV Company Rustavi 2 signed a contract with the advertising house on a fixed amount of money, which was not in accordance with the interests of the channel and this caused financial damage and loss to the TV Company. Nizharadze's position is that Rustavi 2 is accumulating money in Intermedia deliberately.

Rustavi 2's lawyers say that the above-mentioned is untrue and the company did not see financial damage and loss while having a business relationship with Intermedia. According to them, such appeal to the Prosecutor's Office just two days before the European Court of Human Rights delivers a verdict in the broadcaster’s ownership issue is “a signature of the government”.

"It is a complete lustration without our comment," says Rustavi 2 lawyer Tamta Muradashvili.

Related Story: Rustavi 2 Shareholder Demands Investigation of Director General’s Activities

Photo: Rustavi 2

By Ana Dumbadze 

18 July 2019 11:13