The aim of the legal dispute against Davit Kezerashvili may be to pressure Formula TV - საერთაშორისო გამჭვირვალობა - საქართველო
GEO

The aim of the legal dispute against Davit Kezerashvili may be to pressure Formula TV

30 September, 2021

 

Statement of Media Advocacy Coalition

The lawsuit against Davit Kezerashvili, the owner and the funder of Formula TV, and the recent proceedings against him during the pre-election period in general, may be aimed at putting pressure on a critical broadcaster.

Today, on September 30th, 2021, it became known that a lawsuit is being prepared by the Ministry of Defence against former Minister of Defense Davit Kezerashvili and former head of the State Procurement Department, Alexander Ninua, demanding compensation of about 5 million EUR. This is not the only charge against Kezerashvili lately. Earlier, on September 7, in the run-up to the elections, the Supreme Court, consisting of three judges, including former prosecutor Shalva Tadumadze, sentenced Kezerashvili to five years in prison. It should be noted that in the same case there is an acquittal verdict by the City Court and the Court of Appeals in 2017 while Shalva Tadumadze, (who was Bidzina Ivanishvili's lawyer), was the incumbent Prosecutor General.

Davit Kezerashvili owns 51% of shares and is a major funder of Formula TV.

Unfortunately, the representatives of Formula TV have repeatedly become the targets of threat and aggressive rhetoric from the government. It should also be noted that the government hasn’t ensured the safety of Formula TV journalists and hasn’t pursued its statutory responsibility to respond to attacks or threats against them.

The legal dispute against the media owner two days before the local elections raises suspicion that the government is trying to harass and influence the media as part of its ongoing campaign against critical media in the country.

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