TV Company First Stereo Still in Paralysis
24 May, 2012

“I am going to use every court of justice in Georgia”


According to Davit Zilpimian, the founder of TV Company First Stereo who recently was forced to leave the position of the Company Director, TV personnel is denied the entry and broadcasting is controlled by the new TV management. However, Zilpimian is certain that things will change soon because he is set to fight for the return of his property.

Recalling the background, Tbilisi City Court imposed an arrest on Zilpimian’s share in the TV Company First Stereo and Vasil Kobaidze, 50% holder of the company assets, became the new Company Director. Zilpimian says that Kobaidze works in the prosecution and relates to MP Davit Bezhuashvili. It is well known that Bezhuashvili is a proxy of high Governmental circles. So Zilpimian sees the court decision as a political revenge.
Problems started to pummel Zilpimian after his company First Stereo partnered with Ninth Channel, property of Billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili, on the provision of technical service to the latter. Immediately, a string of illegal moves were followed against him.
“Recently, I transferred ownership of the company Stereo Plus that belonged to me to my son. We went through all the formalities including registration in the Public Register and paid the execution fee. The matter should have been ended on Friday. Unexpectedly though, in the same Friday evening, Davit Bezhuashvili, one of the First Stereo partners went to the court to sue me and demanded the arrest warrant for my property. Bezhuashvili told to a judge that he suspected I was going to deliver him a financial loss. This statement was enough for the judge Zaza Martiashvili to hear the case in few minutes and make a decision. On Saturday, they went to the Public Register and had my property arrested in 10 minutes. I mean, both First Stereo and Stereo Plus. It is interesting that Davit Bezhuashvili has nothing to do with Stereo Plus fully owned by me and my Italian Partners,” – opined Zilpimian during the special press-conference held on Thursday.
MP Davit Bezhuashvili however, rejects the accusations and claims that he has no relation with the TV Company. The Tbilisi Civil Court explains that property arrest does not mean giving an upper hand to the appeal of the arresting side. As the court notes, according to Article 191, when applying an arrest, the court assumes that failure to secure property through its arrest the subsequent final court decision may face a predicament because the other side may sell or hide this property.
“This year on 11 May, Vasil Kobaidze, a LTD First Stereo partner, approached the Tbilisi City Court with a request to provide for his property claim. The claimant was demanding arrest of the Davit Zilpimian’s property to avoid expected selling of the property by Zilpimian. First of all, it must be noted that financial arrest to secure the appeal functions in Georgia based on the best practices in European countries. Such cases are heard daily by courts here.
Review of the appeal for the financial arrest does not require a court session. So, it did not take place in our case too. The court examined Vasil Kobaidze’s appeal without holding a verbal discussion. This circumstance is clearly reported right in the beginning of the court decision text. What is more, the court decision was made on the second day after the submission of the appeal, i.e. on 12 May, in full observation of the law which envisages one day for such cases. The 12 May 2012 decision ordered arrest of the Davit Zilpimian’s shares in LTD TV Company First Stereo and LTD Stereo Plus.
This is not the property of either TV Company First Stereo or Stereo Plus. It belongs to Davit Zilpimian personally. Given that an arrest applies to a property, shares of Zilpimian in other companies were also arrested, even though Vasil Kobaidze is not a partner in any of them. The given dispute involves Davit Zilpimian. If the appealing side is proclaimed a winner, the court decision will need to use the arrested property to have the claim covered. But if the appealing side loses the dispute, the law says that the arrest is abolished. It needs to be pointed out that the appeal was not challenged. The law stipulates five days for the other side to challenge the appeal,” – says the statement of the Tbilisi City Court.
Davit Zilpimian asserts that he is going to challenge the court decisions for sure. If needed, he is ready to reach Strasbourg.
“Intrusion of armed people into the TV channel is unacceptable. I am going to use every court authority in Georgia. Of course, I do not cherish a big hope in them. After all the local court levels are behind, I would go to Strasbourg court.
As for the Italian shareholders, they are frustrated by the events because the protocol of the meeting held by the partner board was falsified. They turned to the Foreign Ministry. Then it was decided that the Italian Embassy would send a relevant note to the Vashadze’s ministry. Italians will challenge the events,” – said Zilpimian.