Rustavi 2 is the Tbilisi based TV Channel known for it’s critical attitude towards the current government and its’ support for the opposition party of ex-president of Georgia, Mikheil Saakashvili.
On March 2, the Supreme Court of Georgia decided to transfer the TV station to the former owner, businessman Kibar Khalvashi. The court ruled to cancel the registration of shares of the current owners Levan Karamanishvili (22%), George Karamanishvili (18%), “TV Sakartvelo” (51%) and Nino Nizharadze (9%).
Meanwhile, the current management of the TV channel accused the government of attempting to cease the broadcasting process with the help of Kibar Khalvashi.
With this complaint, Rustavi 2 TV administration appealed to the ECHR with a request to suspend the Supreme Court ruling.
“We have just recent information from Strasbourg. For the first time in its existence, the Strasbourg Court suspended execution of the Supreme Court ruling. The Strasbourg Court has never resorted to such a measure before, except for torture-related cases,” the TV company General Director, Nika Gvaramia stated later.
On March 3 European Court suspended the Georgian court Ruling On Rustavi 2 TV. The ECHR letter of March 3 said that “the enforcement of the Supreme Court’s decision” of March 2 “should be suspended and that the authorities should outstand from interfering” in any manner with the “editorial policy” of Rustavi-2 TV.
The Georgian government is prohibited from closing or facilitating closure of Rustavi 2; the Government is prohibited from changing management or the board in the TV Company till March 8.