Rustavi 2 Case

EU Delegation Statement on Rustavi 2 Ownership Ruling

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The EU Delegation to Georgia’s statement on the Supreme Court ruling on the ownership of the Rustavi 2 TV company, March 3, 2017:

“The Delegation of the European Union has been monitoring the Rustavi 2 court case from the very start and we'll examine closely the verdict adopted by the Supreme Court as well as its consequences. At the same time, we keep to our long-standing practice of not commenting on individual court decisions.

For years, the European Union has been working with the Georgian authorities to implement the reform of the judiciary, with a focus on the independence, transparency and quality of judicial procedures, indispensable for upholding the rule of law.

We reiterate the need for protecting political pluralism, freedom of media and access to diverse views. In the present stage, this remains fundamental for the preservation and consolidation of democracy, corresponding to essential commitments contained in the Association Agreement between Georgia and the European Union.”

On March 2, the U.S. Embassy in Georgia also issued an official statement regarding the Supreme Court decision, which reads as follows:

“The United States views with concern the impact of the Supreme Court’s decision regarding Rustavi 2, which could effectively limit the access of opposition voices to Georgian broadcast media. A pluralistic media environment is essential for Georgia’s democratic growth and Euro-Atlantic aspirations. We urge the Georgian government to take steps to ensure that the media environment remains free, open, and pluralistic.”

The Supreme Court of Georgia made a decision to grant Rustavi 2 TV Company to former owner Kibar Khalvashi, who is believed to have ties with the Georgian Dream party, as his sister has been an MP for the Georgian Dream party since 2012. Rustavi 2 held the demonstration in front of the Supreme Court of Georgia saying that they will not allow the government to change the editorial policy of the station. Several opposition parties have expressed their support for TV company.

Tbilisi City Court and the Appellate Court of Georgia have previously decided to grant 100% ownership of the TV company to former owner Kibar Khalvashi; his sister has been an MP for the Georgian Dream party since 2012. Rustavi 2 applied to appeal the decisions to the Supreme Court. The decision of the Supreme Court of Georgia is the final one and cannot be appealed to another court in the country.

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