Prosecutors Bring New Charges Against Nika Gvaramia

The Prosecutor’s Office brought new charges against Nika Gvaramia, former director general of Rustavi 2 TV, accusing him of abuse of power “for the purpose of receiving personal profits” which conflict with the broadcaster’s legal interests.

In a statement released on November 1, the Prosecutor’s Office said that in February 2019, Nika Gvaramia offered Porsche Center Tbilisi to sell Porsche Macan S with a EUR 76,700 price, a car of his choice “for personal use,” to his trustee, Zurab Gumbaridze, who presently serves as the director general of Formula TV, in exchange for placing ads on Rustavi 2 TV. The Prosecutor’s Office explained that Gvaramia also offered Porsche Center to air their business’s advertisements on Rustavi 2 TV through Proesko Media, an advertising agency, at a preferential price.

According to the Prosecutor’s Office, the agreement on the sale of the car was signed between Porsche Center and Proesko Media and the vehicle was transferred to the ownership of Gvaramia and his family with Proesko Media retaining a formal ownership of the car. The Prosecutor’s Office also said that an agreement on EUR 76,700 worth agreement on ad services was signed between Porsche Center and Proesko Media on the same day, under which ads were aired on Rustavi 2 TV at a preferential price.

The Prosecutor’s Office said that through signing the agreement Gvaramia and his family received ownership of an expensive car, while Rustavi 2 TV suffered “important material damage.”

Commenting on the issue, Nika Gvaramia told reporters that he had not purchased the car in question; he maintained that he has continued to pay of the price of the car in installments; but due to his defaulting on the payment, he now has to pay penalties.

Gvaramia called the Prosecutor’s Office “a criminal organization,” saying that in case of his arrest, he will only “be neutralized temporarily.” He added that “[the ruling party chairman Bidzina] Ivanishvili’s [removal from power] is coming closer.” “My task is to ensure that Ivanishvili either leaves the country or ends up in jail… The most important thing is who will ultimately be the winner and it will be me,” Gvaramia said.

On August 9, the Prosecutor’s Office charged Nika Gvaramia, former director general of Rustavi 2 TV, Georgia’s most-watched television broadcaster, with abuse of power. Later on September 6, the Prosecutor’s Office brought additional charges against Gvaramia, accusing him of commercial bribery and preparation of fake documents.

For more background, follow out tag on Rustavi 2

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