At a special briefing, Director of Rustavi 2, Nika Gvaramia announced that the European Court of Human Rights decided to suspend the implementation of the Supreme Court's decision on Rustavi 2.
"I want to congratulate everyone as we've received great news from the Strasbourg court. This is absolutely unprecedented, and questions political processes in Georgia. For the first time in history, the Strasbourg court suspended the decision of the Supreme Court of Georgia. In its history, the ECHR has never taken such measures, excluding cases which concern torture," stated Gvaramia.
Director of Rustavi 2 also added that the suspension works till March 8th: "suspension of the implementation works until the court examines the case. later ECHR will make explanatory statement".
On March 3, 18 NGOs issued a joint statement saying that the Supreme Court’s decision “damages not only the further democratic development of Georgia, but limits freedom of media, pluralistic media environment and threatens Euro-Atlantic integration process.”
The case received wide international attention from diplomatic organizations and members of European Parliament. The EU Delegation to Georgia and the U.S. Embassy Tbilisi also issued official statements raising concerns regarding freedom of media and freedom of speech in Georgia.
On March 2nd, the Supreme Court of Georgia made a decision to grant ownership of the Rustavi 2 TV Company to former owner Kibar Khalvashi. 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 final and cannot be appealed to another court in Georgia.