Ex-owners of Rustavi 2 address Grand Chamber of European Court to recheck its verdict on the channel

A panel of judges in the European Court of Human Rights will decide now whether or not to send the case for re-examination to the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights. Photo: ECHR.

Agenda.ge, 24 Oct 2019 - 18:45, Tbilisi,Georgia

Former owners of Rustavi 2 private broadcaster, the brother Karamanishvili, have addressed the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) to recheck the court’s July 18 verdict which allowed the return of 100 per cent of the channel’s shares to ex-owner Kibar Khalvashi. 

Khalvashi insisted that his shares were illegally confiscated under the United National Movement government back in 2006 which was confirmed by the judgement of ECHR in July 2019. 

The Karamanishvili, who lost the case in the court, had the right to request referral of the case to the Grand Chamber which they decided to use.  

Such requests are accepted on an exceptional basis. A panel of judges of the Grand Chamber decides whether or not the case should be referred to the Grand Chamber for fresh consideration. According to statistics only five per cent of cases are allowed for fresh consideration,” the Georgian Ministry of Justice has stated earlier today as they had received an official note from the ECHR regarding the request of the Karamanishvili. 

The ministry said that they will inform the public on the decision of the panel of judges. 

Rustavi 2 has changed ownership for up to 20 times since its creation in 1994. Photo: Nino Alavidze/Agenda.ge. 

The Grand Chamber is made up of the court’s president and vice-presidents, the section presidents and the national judge, together with other judges selected by drawing of lots. 

When it hears a case on referral, it does not include any judges who previously sat in the chamber which first examined the case. 

  • Before the ECHR announced its verdict in July Rustavi 2 was owned by LTD TV Sakartvelo (51%) and businessmen brothers Levan (22%) and Giorgi (18%) Karamanishvili.
  • For its part the brothers owned 25-25 per cent of LTD Sakartvelo. The remaining 50 per cent of the LTD was owned by a son of the United National Movement Executive Secretary Koba Nakopia, Nikoloz Nakopia.
  • The remaining nine per cent of the channel belonged to Nino Nizharadze.