On November 20, Tbilisi City Court sentenced Giorgi Rurua, one of the shareholders of Mtavari Arkhi TV, who has been charged with illegal purchase, storage and carrying firearms, to two-month pretrial custody.
The controlling shares (51%) of Mtavari Arkhi are owned by TV channel’s Director General Nika Gvaramia. 42% of shares are owned by Kakhaber Anjaparidze; 2.5% – Giorgi Rurua and his niece, Mari Ana Rurua, each; and 2% – University of Georgia. 50% of shares in Georgian University are owned by ex-President Mikheil Saakashvili’s mother and uncle, Giuli Alasania and Nikoloz Alasania.
Giorgi Rurua, who was arrested on November 18, denies all charges against him.
Nika Gvaramia, who is one of Rurua’s defense lawyers and the TV channel’s director general, slammed the charges as “absurd,” noting that police planted firearms in Rurua’s car.
He said that one of the main reasons of Rurua’s arrest is “to suspend his relations with Mtavari Arkhi.” Gvaramia also cited financial assistance to Tbilisi protests as yet another reason for Rurua’s arrest.
Dimitri Sadzaglishvili, another defense lawyer, noted that “it is the depraved system with all of its three components – police, prosecutor’s office and court – committing a crime and enforcing a political will.”
The defense lawyers said they will challenge the court ruling in an upper instance court.