Georgian businessman Vano Chkhartishvili is accusing President Saakashvili, Tbilisi Mayor Gigi Ugulava and MP Davit Bezhuashvili of misappropriating TV company Mze. Speaking at the June 19 press conference Chkhartishvili’s lawyers said the businessman is going to lodge a complaint to the Georgian court against President, Tbilisi Mayor and MP.
British lawyer Simon Paget-Brown and Temur Mamasakhlisi will be pleading for the businessman at court. Since the case involves high officials, they said, Chkhartishvili does not hope for the impartiality of the Georgian court therefore the complaint will be simultaneously lodged to British and international courts.
According to Chkhartishvili’s lawyers the businessman owned the controlling interest the of TV company Mze in 2004-2005. Following the pressure exerted by President he was made to re-register the TV company to the subject suggested by Saakashvili.
“It’s important to me to hold he aforementioned individuals [Mikheil Saaakashvili, Gigi Ugulava and Davit Bezhuashvili] responsible for the damage inflicted following their illicit action not through the budget funds but their private property. The reimbursed amount will be spent on the development of media,” reads the statement released by the businessman introduced today to journalists by Chkhartishvili’s press secretary Giorgi Giorgadze.
In his statement Chkhartishvili points out it is not just another dispute over the property with private interest behind. “To prove that I would like to state right away that after getting it back TV company Mze will be handed over to the public council so that the Georgian society could have a powerful educational-cognitive channel.”
The complaint is being worked out, said lawyer Temur Mamasakhlisi, and will be submitted to the court in a few weeks. For now due to technical issues evidence is impossible to be provided. “The amount of evidence is so immense this room might not be enough to fit everything in, later on everything will be unveiled to the society,” said Temur Mamasakhlisi.
Until the businessman gets Mze back he is going to launch an international TV company Mzera in London to be available via internet at the initial stage. Mzera, said Giorgi Giorgadze, will start broadcasting within a few weeks.