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Court Sends Mtavari Arkhi Shareholder to Pretrial Custody

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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.

According to the data available at the National Agency of Public Registry, Giorgi Rurua, who is brother of late Nika Rurua, former member of the National Movement, owns 2.5% of Mtavari Arkhi’s shares since September 24. He bought the shares from a 49% shareholder at GEL 2,500 on condition of investing USD 250,000 in the TV channel.

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.

Prior to Rurua’s arrest, pro-government Facebook pages spread sponsored posts, according to which Giorgi Rurua talked about the need of paralyzing administrative buildings.

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

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