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20.12.2013 11:12

Court Reinstates Giorgi Baratashvili to GPB Top Position

Gela Bochikashvili

გიორგი ბარათაშვილი

Tbilisi City Court has reinstated Giorgi Baratashvili to the position of Director General of the Georgian Public Broadcasting (GPB) for the second time now. The court announced the judgment to the parties today, December 20.  

Based on the Tbilisi City Court Judge Khatia Ardazishvili’s judgment the public broadcaster shall immediately reinstate Giorgi Baratashvili to the position of Director General. According to the same decision the broadcaster shall pay Giorgi Baratashvili the remuneration to be received from the dismissal to his reinstatement, no more than the salary for three months. The same decision revoked the September 12 decision on the announcement of contest for the GPB top position.

The Judge considered the discussion on the distrust was initiated on August 30, 12 Board members then demanded to discuss the issue related to the declaration of distrust. By the time six months had not been exhausted since the very first declaration of distrust in Baratashvili on March 4, 2013. On that ground, based the court’s decision, the ordinance on Baratashvili’s dismissal was revoked.

Baratashvili’s party demanded the revocation of the Board decision for another reason – on September 6, when the decision was reached, the Board sitting was attended by nine members only which was not enough to discuss the issue of declaring distrust. In line with law at least 10 members were to be present to discuss the issue, while nine members were entitled to make decision.

This is to say on August 30 the Board sitting was attended by necessary number of Commissioner but when raising an issue 6-month term had not been exhausted; By September 6 the 6-month term had been exhausted but the required number of Commissioners were not present.

Ultimately the Judge considered the issue on declaring distrust was raised on August 30, but the ordinance was revoked due to the breach in the six-month term.

Pre-trial and main hearing of Giorgi Baratashvili’s case was held on December 12 of this year. Prior to the court hearing on December 4 the defense party, Public Broadcaster, made a motion to the court. In the motion the broadcaster upheld Giorgi Baratashvili’s complaint.

After the reinstatement to the former position Giorgi Baratashvili will be working with a recently elected Board of Trustees. His dismissal shall not be considered for six months off of declaring distrust, e.g. until February 2014.

Giorgi Baratashvili was dismissed by GPB Board of Trustees on September 6 of this year. Considering Board‘s decision illicit Giorgi Baratashvili applied to the court to be reinstated to the position. In the court Giorgi Baratashvili was represented by the Georgian Young Lawyers Association (GYLA).

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