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Bidzina Ivanishvili on Georgia's airwaves: live Tuesday at 4 pm

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Tuesday, November 1
On Monday, a day before the live Georgian Public Broadcasting programme about Georgian billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili was to be aired, several problems arose. According to GPB, Ivanishvili’s press office imposed contradictory demands for the live press conference scheduled for 1 November. “Bidzina Ivanishvili's spokesperson Irakli Tripolski required that the press conference last 40 minutes, but at the same time he refused to grant access for TV satellite equipment and technical staff onto Ivanishvili’s private property," said a statement released by GPB. It also stated that Tripolski insisted that details should be discussed with Ivanishvili’s security service. The reasons access was denied to GPB’s satellite station and technical crew into the Business Center of Ivanishvili are unknown. “Without this equipment, live airing of the briefing cannot be implemented," GPB reported.

One point mentioned in GPB's statement, not voiced in the October 24 agreement between GPB and Ivanishvili’s Press service, was that Georgian Public Broadcasting reiterated its readiness to provide live broadcasting of Ivanishvili’s press conference but that it would last only as long "as it satisfies the public interest”. This is in contradiction to the original agreement which was made—according to Ivanishvili’s press service—for 40 minutes' air time. The politician's press service appealed to GPB not to violate their previous agreement. "Let society decide what is interesting and what is less interesting for them," the press service said, and added, "The fact that 200 journalists had already been accredited to attend the press conference is a sign of high public interest for the event.”

An hour later GPB made still another statement, "The mobile TV satellite station of the Public Broadcaster and the technical staff were indeed allowed into Bidzina Ivanishvili’s press conference."

“The Ivanishvili press office contacted the First Channel of the GPB shortly after the Georgian Public Broadcaster released its first statement. The spokesperson Irakli Tripolski says that no problems will be created over the issue of access by GPB’s mobile satellite station and technical crew into the Business Center.” However, the Broadcaster once again stated that it will devote live air time to the briefing "only until it satisfies public interest".

The Georgian Public Broadcaster will broadcast Ivanishvili’s press conference live at 4 pm today.