Top executives of Imedi TV and radio stations, although permitted by the authorities, have refused to enter the TV station's premises without TV cameras. They had wanted to document damage to the studio allegedly inflicted during a police raid on November 7.
“We are now in the yard at the back of the station,” Bidzina Baratashvili, managing director of Imedi TV, told Civil.Ge on the phone. “Prosecutors told us earlier today that we could go inside at 2 pm [local time]. We came here, but they wouldn't allow us to go inside with cameras. We want to go inside only with cameras to record the actual conditions inside the premises.”
Imedi management, however, entered inside the radio station premises. The latter was also put off the air, although legal obstacles were put only on the television station.
Earlier on Thursday, the Tbilisi City Court ruled to unfreeze Imedi’s assets – the last remaining legal obstacle for Imedi to get back on air after the Georgian National Communications Commission (GNCC) on December 4 reversed its November 7 decision to suspend Imedi TV’s license for three months.
The Tbilisi City Court verdict will, however, only go into force on December 7. Imedi management now hopes that its technical staff and TV cameras will be allowed inside the premises once the verdict goes into force.
Lewis Robertson, Chief Executive Officer of Imedi TV and radio, who was appointed last year by News Corp., was, along with Baratashvili, in the Imedi yard.
Meanwhile, Badri Patarkatsishvili, a co-owner of the Imedi, welcomed removal of legal obstacles for resumption of the television station. In a written statement issued on December 6, Patarkatsishvili said that it was a result “the Georgian people’s strong will.”