Investigation to be launched against Rustavi 2 director?

Investigation to be launched against Rustavi 2 director?

Nino Nizharadze, a 9% shareholder of the Rustavi 2 channel, has addressed the Georgian Chief Prosecutor’s Office to launch an investigation against the channel director, Nika Gvaramia.

Nizharadze’s lawyer says that Gvaramia has abused his power and has made a decision which will bankrupt the channel.

"The decision concerns the deal of Rustavi 2 and an advertising agency Intermedia on a fixed payment [and not based on released materials], which financially affected the channel," cited Nizharadze’s lawyer as saying.

Nizharadze suspects that Gvaramia and the channel leadership have plans to bankrupt Rustavi 2 and accumulate money in the advertising agency run by "Gvaramia’s ally Mikheil Mshvildadze."

Rustavi 2 responds that "Nizharadze plays the government’s game, who wish to see the channel closed."

"The play is very obvious several days before the European Court of Human Rights releases its verdict on Rustavi 2 ownership dispute [on July 18]," Rustavi 2 lawyer Tamta Muradashvili said.

Nizharadze filed a lawsuit against Gvaramia back in May, demanding 28 million GEL (about $10.3m).

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