Kakha Kozhoridze, the defense lawyer of Rustavi 2 TV founders, Davit Dvali and Jarji Akimidze, said today that the Tbilisi City Court has ruled to freeze all assets owned by the TV channel.
According to Kozhoridze, the claimants also demanded a freeze on the TV’s channels movable property, as well as restriction of “certain powers” of the current owner of Rustavi 2 TV, Kibar Khalvashi, but “the court acted selectively” and did not meet the founders’ requirement in this part. Dvali and Akimidze plan to challenge the decision in an upper instance court.
Paata Salia, director general of Rustavi 2 TV, told Civil Georgia (Civil.ge) that they will make the decision on whether to appeal the ruling or not after they see the court’s justification.
According to the public registry, as of March 21, 60% of Rustavi 2 TV shares are owned by Kibar Khalvashi; 40% is the property of Panorama LLC 100% of which belongs to Kibar Khalvashi. In March 2021, Rustavi 2 TV and Prime Time news agency got united under JSC Media Holding with 90% of its shares owned by Prime Time and 10% – by Rustavi 2 TV.
Jarji Akimidze and Davit Dvali initited legal proceedings in October 2019 after they rejected Khalvashi’s proposal for 40% of shares, saying that they had no intention to participate in the process of Rustavi 2 TV’s transformation into a state-owned TV channel. In October 2019, the court ruled to freeze 60% of the TV channel’s shares.
Khalvashi had earlier promised 50% of shares to the co-founders as well as appointment of Dvali as the director general in case of positive resolution of the dispute over Rustavi 2 TV launched in 2015. Khalvashi however did not keep the promise after winning the legal dispute and regaining control over the TV channel.
- Rustavi 2 TV Co-founders Launch Ownership Challenge
- Rustavi 2 Co-founders Reject Khalvashi’s Offer over 40% of Broadcaster’s Shares
- ECHR Rules over Rustavi 2 TV Ownership Dispute