Nika Gvaramia

Director of Rustavi 2 Nika Gvaramia Attacked in Restaurant

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Photo: რუსთავი 2

Director General of Rustavi 2 Nika Gvaramia was physically assaulted today in addition to others accompanying him.

Gvaramia recorded the incident on his personal Facebook page, according to which he and his friends were attacked while together in “Dining Room” restaurant.

“I buried my father today and I was feeling very sad. My friends took me to restaurant Dining Room in order to make me feel better. The lights went off and we were preparing to leave when we were physically attacked in the dark. I couldn’t realise what was happening because of the fatigue of the previous days, I couldn’t react anyhow until I woke up on the floor. I called the police right away. There were cameras around. There were fingerprints on the table of the attackers”, he wrote.

On November 21, the Supreme Court of Georgia began hearings concerning the ownership of Rustavi 2 television channel. On September 5, Rustavi 2 claimed to have found a document which affirms that the channel was never owned by Kibar Khalvashi, who has close ties to the Georgian Dream party.

The document, dated February 4, 2010, is an agreement between the beneficiary owner Irakli Okruashvili and nominal owner Kibar Khalvashi who served as an intermediary. Irakli Okruashvili has himself confirmed the authenticity of the document.

Rustavi 2 and several opposition parties (namely the United National Movement and the Free Democrats) see the ownership dispute as a political move as the channel has been known to be critical of the Georgian Dream government. The General Director of Rustavi 2, Nika Gvaramia, has said on numerous occasions that the Georgian Dream seeks to take over the company as they dislike the editorial policy of the channel.

On June 10, 2016, 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 the former owner Kibar Khalvashi and his company Panorama.

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