Rustavi 2 TV chief executive, Nika Gvaramia, has been arrested under “completely false charges” and should be immediately released, President Saakashvili said on Wednesday.
“I know very well that pressure has been exerted on owners of this television station,” he said. “They failed to find anything against the owners and they won’t be able to find anything against them, so now they arrested the director [of Rustavi 2 TV] under completely false charges.”
“I want to warn them that everything will be over very soon and very badly for those who are doing it,” Saakashvili said.
“No one will be able to establish a regime in Georgia, which they [apparently referring PM Ivanishvili’s government] aspire to establish; they are very close to dangerous edge,”
“I am saying it as the President and as a citizen of this country,”
“I demand an immediate release of the director of free television station,” he said.
“I want to express not only my hope, but confidence that it will be over very well and much sooner than they think,” Saakashvili said.
Nika Gvaramia was arrested together with former energy minister Alexander Khetaguri and three other persons, including former deputy economy minister, for alleged corruption on December 19.
Gvaramia was deputy chief prosecutor in 2007, Justice Minister in 2008 and education minister till late 2009. Charges against him are not related to the period when he was a member of the government.
Gvaramia became chief executive of the Rustavi 2 television station in mid-November. Gvaramia replaced on the position of Rustavi 2 TV’s general director Giorgi Gegeshidze, who now owns 9% shares of the TV channel. Rest of the 91% shares is owned, directly and indirectly, by Levan Karamanishvili and Giorgi Karamanishvili, who reportedly are President Saakashvili’s associates.