Rustavi 2 Case

EU Commissioner, Ombudsman and NGOs demand fair examination of R2 Case

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იოჰანეს ჰანი Photo: ტაბულა

EU Commissioner for Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, Johannes Hahn, speaking at the international conference -- Georgia’s European Way, commenting on the Rustavi 2 case, stating that the EU is closely observing the developments related to the Rustavi 2. 

“The Rustavi 2 case is being discussed in the Supreme Court -- and that is exactly the institution which should make a decision on it. We have elections ahead of us and it’s important to conduct them in a just and transparent manner, according to international standards, which also includes the protection of free media. That’s exactly what we’ll observe during this period", - said the Commisioner. 

Over the past few dats, the civil society representatives and NGOs have urged the Supreme and Consitutional Courts to consider the case in transparent and fair way. A joint Statement issued by the Transparency International - Georgia, International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy (ISFED), Economic Policy Research Center (EPRC), Civil Development Agency (CIDA), Atlantic Council of Georgia, and the Georgian Young Lawyers Association (GYLA), reads: 

"We urge the Supreme Court of Georgia to consider and trial the case with the complete protection of the legislation, in order to exclude the questions about possible political interests in the case that are present during the trials". 

Additionally, civil society platform, "Defend Liberty", held a briefing on June 14, calling upon the Supreme and Constitution Courts to recognize the importance of the case for Georgia's democratic development. At the press briefing in front of the Supreme Court, the civil society representatives delivered a statement, that reads:

"We appeal to the Supreme Court to recognize that protecting Rustavi 2 is not in the interests of one particular political party. Regardless of political affiliations, the welfare of Georgian society is tied to what will happen now with Rustavi 2.

We urge the Supreme Court to take into account that Georgia’s democratic future is in their hands. We ask the court to discuss the Rustavi 2 case and act according to the interests of the law and of the people, and to not follow the caprices of one citizen.

We address the Constitutional Court: We are aware that the Constitutional Court carries out its duties under a high pressure environment. We are aware that the judges are under pressure. We understand that the personal security of judges is on the line. But we ask you to consider that the legitimacy of the upcoming October elections depends on your decision, and is crucial for Georgia’s future freedom and democracy".

Furthermore, The Public Defender, Ucha Nanuashvili, addressed to the Supreme Court to register the appeal of the Rustavi 2. 

“There were still some question marks, and that’s why it’s important that the Supreme Court gives the final word and examines all the issues that were raised during the case in detail. We are observing the entire process, even what is happening in the Supreme Court", - said Nanuashvili. 

The Supreme Court is about to decide whether or not to accept the Rustavi 2 case for consideration. Previously, on June 10, the Appellate Court announced its decision to leave the previous verdict of the Tbilisi City Court unchanged, which ruled that 100% of the assets of Rustavi 2 are the property of former owner Kibar Khalvashi and his company Panorama. Kiber Khalvashi, filed a lawsuit in August 2015 to claim back his shares of the company. Khalvashi was a co-owner of Rustavi 2 in 2004-2006. Rustavi 2 is the biggest TV network in Georgia with the largest audience. It voices critical opinions of the government. International and local organizations have called upon the Georgian government to refrain from taking over the opposition-minded channel. The Rustavi 2 case has gained more importance and attention as the election campaign is officially underway in Georgia.

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