Court freezes 60% of Rustavi 2 TV shares after founders file lawsuit against owner

Rustavi 2 private broadcaster was founded in 1994 and has changed ownership around 20 times since then. Photo: Nino Alavidze/, 21 Oct 2019 - 12:40, Tbilisi,Georgia

Tbilisi City Court has ruled that 60 per cent of shares of TV channel Rustavi 2 be frozen after two founders of the channel filed a lawsuit against current owner Kibal Khalvashi last week.

Khalvashi, who stated his shares were illegally confiscated under the United National Movement leadership back in 2006, won the ownership dispute in the European Court of Human Rights in July 2019.

Founder of Rustavi 2 David Dvali and Jarji Akimidze say that their stake, 60 per cent of the shares of the company, were also illegally confiscated by the previous United National Movement government in 2004 and Khalvashi was involved in the process.

Kibar Khalvashi (L), Jarji Akimidze and David Dvali (R). Photo: RFE/RL. 

On October 17 2019 they [Dvali, Akimidze] appealed to the court to freeze 60 per cent of Rustavi 2 shares “until the ownership dispute” is resolved.

Tbilisi City Court has accepted to discuss the case and allowed the freeze of 60 per cent of shares,” lawyer of Dvali and Akimidze, Kakha Kozhoridze, posted on his Facebook page earlier today.

Khalvashi’s lawyer and current Director General of Rustavi 2 Paata Salia stated last week that the imitation period for filing a lawsuit regarding the case expired in 2014 for Akimidze and Dvali, adding that the founders “are late.”

He [Salia] stated later that the court's decision will be appealed, adding that the channel "continues broadcasting as usual."