Rustavi 2 staff will keep their jobs, says major shareholder

Current Director General of one of Georgia’s largest private broadcasters, Rustavi 2 has offered to purchase the company's shares from its major shareholder Kib

The nine-member high chamber of the Supreme Court ruled on the ownership of the TV company yesterday evening in favor of former shareholder Khalvashi yesterday.

Director General of Rustavi 2,Nika Gvaramia said in a special briefing late last night that if Khalvashi treats the company as a business and plans to sell it at some time in the future, the company’s staff "those, who have been carrying Rustavi 2 on their shoulders”, will buy his shares.

Gvaramia said the TV company will continue broadcasting and "you cannot switch us off the air, or take us away”.

Gvaramia made the statement in response to Khalvashi, who told press after the verdict had been read that the broadcaster is a material asset for him as a businessman. However, he believes the company has professional staff who should keep their jobs.

Rustavi 2 will serve people and avoid being a biased TV company carrying out interests of any [political] party”, Khalvashi said.

 However, he refused to accept Gvaramia’s offer. He said he believes ex-President Saakashvili stands behind Gvaramia.

Khalvashi claims he had purchased the broadcasting company for $7 million USD in 2004 but was forced under strong pressure of then-President Saakashvili and his government to concede the property to a new owner in December of 2006.

Before becoming Director General of Rustavi 2, Gvaramia held multiple positions in the Cabinet of Ministers during Saakashvili’s presidency.

Lawyers of Rustavi 2 do not agree with yesterday's verdict of the Supreme Court and plan to appeal to the European Court of Human Rights to suspend its decision.


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