21 June, 2012

Our newspaper wrote last week that Alexander Ronzhes, one of the American shareholders’ who owns 17% of ‘Global TV’ is worried about the problems, the Company is facing. As we already know Bidzina Ivanishvili’s brother is one of the founders of ‘Global TV’; actually, according to the court ruling, the Company must dismantle the antennae erected for the consumers on the basis of long-term agreement. We have information that Ronzhes was going to discuss the issue at the USA Department of State but due to last week’s developments, he (presumably the American Embassy and Georgian public too) almost forgot about it – the American shareholder of ‘Global TV’ was detained at Tbilisi International Airport. According to the spread information, 7 or 8 men approached him asking to follow them for interrogation.

The American citizen refused but he was forced to accompany them to the first floor of the Airport. Ronzhes assessed this as violence; in any case, he wrote and sent such text to his Georgian friend. The lawyers weren’t given a chance to timely discuss the matter with him and later the American guest declared that he was verbally offended (!).
Lili Gelashvili, Alexander Ronzhes’ lawyer: ‘Alexander Ronzhes was interrogated as a witness. As stipulated by the law, he had to get a notification that he was to be interrogated. Thereby, it was a forced interrogation of the witness. He had already gone through airport registration when he was taken to the ‘Staff’ for interrogation. As Mr. Ronzhes says, he was verbally offended and despite the fact that he doesn’t know Georgian, he understood the meaning. Later the lawyers were allowed to attend interrogation.
The interrogation was on when three representatives of the US Embassy arrived but they didn’t attend the process. Later they spoke to Ronzhes but the content isn’t known to me. We learnt from the Ministry of Finance website that on the basis of information of National Bank Financial Monitoring Service investigation had started on the fact of legalization of illegal income. On June 8, 2012 Ronzhes for GEL 1 million 100 thousand sold to ‘Leasing 21’the property that he bought in 2004. It was his property and we don’t understand what caused suspicion. As it turned out, the Financial Monitoring Service thought that Ronzhes withdrew the sum from the bank but it doesn’t correspond to reality. He wasn’t taking the money across the border and consequently, had no obligation to fill in the declaration.
It seems that the Service of Financial Monitoring made a lapse, considering that he had withdrawn the cash from the bank and was going to cross the border without filling in the declaration…’
‘Ronzhes answered all questions regarding purchasing and selling, consequently. nobody put forward any claims. The American citizen left Georgia without signing any receipt and giving any promises. He said he’d come back soon to help ‘Global TV’ solve the problems’, declared Zurab Bazlidze, ‘Global TV’ Development and Marketing Director.


Other Stories
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New hurdle for GPB reforms
A special group will work on the issue of the Board of Trustees of the Georgian Public Broadcaster (GPB). The group will try to solve the deadlock created around the GPB board after the verdict of the Constitutional Court. Majority member Eliso Chapidze claims that the court made a decision that would disturb the reform of the Public Broadcaster. Last year the Parliament amended the Law on Broadcasting, introducing a new rule for the formation of the Board of Trustees of GPB. The new rule envisaged pre-term termination of the authority of seven current members of the Board from January 2014. In December 2013 however, six members of the board filed a lawsuit with the Constitutional Court arguing that the termination of their authority was illegal and unconstitutional.
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IAGJ deeply concerned about the situation in Ukraine 
According to reports by local media organizations and IAGJ (independent Association of Georgian Journalists) partners in Ukraine, at least 26 journalists were injured during the clashes between police and protesters in Kiev on 19 and 21 January. Most of the reporters were wounded by stun grenades or rubber bullets used by the police while dispersing a rally in central Kiev.
Speculations about GPB
Georgian civil sector representatives are questioning governmental policies concerning the freedom and public orientation of Georgian Public Broadcaster (GPB).The Coalition for Media Advocacy (CMA), which unites eleven civil society and media organizations, protested the current situation and appealed to parliament with a petition which over 550 individuals have already signed.
IFJ wary of State Involvement in Media Contracts
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“Investigation in Gori”
“Muted” 2008 War Movie of Dutch Military Journalist

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Broadcaster?Political war on Public

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Famous Singer Versus Rating Journal
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World Press Reviews Fracas at National Library
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Diplomat Of The Year - Polls Are Already On
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Reports say "Rustavi 2" TV correspondents went on strike
Reports say Rustavi 2 TV correspondents went on strike.
`Georgian Media Needs Help`
`We intend to meet Philip Dimitrov one of these days`

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Media Without Political Influence

IAGJ: “Media must be freed of political pressure”


One month after the Parliamentary elections, Georgian media space experiences momentous events. However, despite wide “media revolution”, a part of experts believe that contours of free and fair media space remain to be seen.


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Terminated TV Channels and New TV Companies

What future for Georgian media landscape?

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Independent Association of Georgian Journalists appeals to the new government to implement reforms in media ownership

With the handover of power, the media market in Georgia is being redistributed among political groups, a process associated with the violation of journalists’ rights, closing down of television programmes, unfair dismissal from service and non-payment of wages.

IFJ Calls for Guarantees on Press Freedom ahead of Elections in Georgia


The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today called on the authorities in Georgia to guarantee independence of media ahead of the general elections due to take place on 1 October. "Past elections in Georgia have been marred by attempts to control media and obstruct independent reporting, "said IFJ President, Jim Boumelha.

election without media?

The Central Election Commission (CEC) has passed a decision introducing regulations for filming inside polling stations during the voting day imposing less restriction than initially proposed.The decision was passed by 13-member CEC shortly before the midnight on September 24 with 10 votes to two. CEC members from the Conservative Party and Industrialists, both within the Georgian Dream coalition, voted against, citing that there was no need to introduce any regulations for making video recordings and taking photos inside polling stations on the election day. CEC members from ruling party, UNM, as well as Christian-Democratic Movement were among those who voted in favor; Labor Party representative was absent.

Larry King invited on Georgian opposition TV channel

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Neither Yes, Nor No

Issue of arrested satellite dishes still open

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Georgian Media Landscape and Developments

Annual Report by the Independent Association of Georgian Journalists (IAGJ)

Below is an abridged version of the report prepared by the Independent Association of Georgian Journalists. The report covers the period from January, 2011 to July, 2012. Facts highlighted in it are based on violations registered by the IAGJ, Public Defender and non-governmental organizations, as well as on journalistic material published in the Georgian press throughout the period under review.


Why GNS Studio journalists were beaten

According to Interior Ministry, on 22 August, at 21.30, notification was sent from regional hospital to Akhmeta regional police department about physical injury of Bachana Buliskiria and Vasil Dabrindashvili, GNS Studio journalists. The journalists were attacked by owners of wood processing shops Zaur Karmazanashvili and Osiko Chichiashvili together with hid son. The assaulters addressed the police with complaint blaming the journalists for unauthorized entry of their territory.

Radio Palitra Is Four Years Old

Slogan: ‘Truth Comes First’

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GEL Exchange