skip to content

Patarkatsishvili: Imedi TV Not For Sale

Badri Patarkatsishvili, the founder and co-owner of Imedi TV, said that attempts had been made by the authorities to acquire both the TV station and its sister radio station.

?Imedi is not for sale,? Patarkatsishvili said while meeting with the staff of the television station on October 10. ?I will never give up two things: my dignity and free speech.?

?Attempts were made to replicate what was done to other television stations,? he said. His comment has been seen as a reference to speculation that top level officials, in particular, Giorgi Arveladze, the economy minister, have taken control of the Rustavi 2 television station.

?We are giving everyone the opportunity to express their opinions through [Imedi TV] without paying any money,? Patarkatsishvili added.

In August, when the government announced that it was handing over the management rights of Georgian Railways to a mysterious private company, Parkfield Investments, speculation was rife that the deal in fact involved Patarkatsishvili, who allegedly had agreed to swap his media holding for the rail network. In September, Patarkatsishvili, however, denied that this was the case, saying ?there is no asset in Georgia worth being swapped for Imedi.?

Patarkatsishvili and his media assets have become the focus of the political standoff between the authorities and opposition, especially since ex-Defense Minister Irakli Okruashvili?s stunning testimony.

In taped video testimony released by the General Prosecutor?s Office on October 8, Okruashvili retracted his accusations against President Saakashvili of plotting to murder Patarkatsishvili and said that his accusation had been aimed at ?gaining political dividends? for him and Patarkatsishvili.

Following Okruashvili?s testimony, key lawmakers from the ruling party began a campaign of vilification against Patarkatsishvili, accusing him of ?plotting intrigues against the state with the hands of Okruashvili.?

In remarks broadcast on Imedi TV on October 10, Patarkatsishvili told the station’s staff that although he had held a series of meetings with Okruashvili, the former defense minister had never mentioned the alleged murder plot. 

He also said that Imedi TV had consistently taken a ?constructive? approach, with stories critical of the government actually serving the interests of democracy. ?It is first and foremost good for the government itself,? Patarkatsishvili added.

Rupert Murdoch?s News Corporation is also a co-owner of Imedi Media Holding. Patarkatsishvili said late last month that Georgia would serve as a hub for News Corporation?s further expansion into the former Soviet Union.

This post is also available in: ქართული (Georgian) Русский (Russian)


Back to top button