New owner of Rustavi 2 TV gives signature sample to be studied to end allegations against him

New owner of Rustavi 2 Kibar Khalvashi says that the ownership document mentioned by former Defence Minister Irakli Okruashvili is a fake. Photo: IPN., 24 Jul 2019 - 19:03, Tbilisi,Georgia

The new owner of Rustavi 2 Kibar Khalvashi, who has been given 100 per cent of the shares of the television channel, has submitted his signature for examination to the Tbilisi Levan Samkharauli Forensic Bureau earlier today to end allegations of former Defence Minister Irakli Okruashvili against him.

Okruashvili says that it was he and not Khalvashi who bought the channel with seven million USD back in 2004.

He says that Khalvashi was a “nominal figure [who] just represented me in the purchase deal.”

Okruashvili stated that he has a paper signed by Khalvashi in 2010, in which Khalvashi states that the real owner of the channel is Okruashvili.

We have been demanding Khalvashi to submit his signature at the Forensic Bureau starting from 2015, which he refused,” Okrushvili stated. 

After leaving his signature, Khalvashi said that he will continue negotiations with the founder of the channel David Dvali and Jarki Akimidze, who say that the channel was illegally seized from them in 2004, under the United National Movement leadership.

Okruashvili has demanded the freeze on Rustavi 2 shares, which the court did not meet. Photo: 1TV. 

Akimidze and Dvali state that justice will be restored only after the channel is returned to them.

Khalvashi stated in 2015 that he would have returned 50 per cent of shares of Rustavi 2 to Dvali and Akimidze after winning the case and would have appointed Dvali the director general of Rustavi 2.

However, he has appointed his lawyer Salia to the post.

I spoke with Dvali and Akimidze two years ago regarding the issue and they know the conditions of the negotiation. I am not going to speak about the conditions now as I have plans to continue speaking with them. Only after I speak with them, I will share the details with you,” Khalvashi told the media.

The European Court of Human Rights upheld the verdict of the Georgian Supreme Court made in 2017 and allowed the return of 100 per cent of Rustavi 2 shares to Khalvashi on July 18, 2019.

Khalvashi argued that the shares were illegally seized by the United National Movement government in 2006.