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Kitsmarishvili Accused of Embezzlement

By Salome Modebadze
Tuesday, December 6
Controversies around Maestro TV continue. Maka Asatiani, one of the founders of company accused Erosi Kitsmarishvili of appropriating USD 500,000. According to a statement released on Monday, Kitsmarishvili, owner of Rustavi Media Management Company (RMMC) which manages Maestro TV, had acknowledged his responsibility and promised to refund the money. Kitsmarishvili was warned that he will not get more money unless he paid back the debt. In her written statement, Asatiani recollected how Kitsmarishvili tried to speculate over the issue in order to avoid financial obligations.

Introducing Asatiani’s statement to the media, Dumitri Gabunia lawyer of Studio Maestro stated that Kitsmarishvili remained penniless, while Asatiani continued financing the channel to keep it functioning. Studio Maestro accused Kitsmarishvili of lying to the media making out that he was covering Maestro TV’s expenses. “Instead of returning the money Kitsmarishvili initiated cutting down staff which was unacceptable for the founders of the company,” Asatiani’s statement said.

Claiming that Kitsmarishvili had violated his obligations, Asatiani announced the annulment of the agreement with Kitsmarishvili. “Instead of covering the debt he tried to escape from his guilt through fraud as Kitsmarishvili realized he had failed,” the statement reads. Accusing Kitsmarishvili of cooperating with the government against Maestro TV, Asatiani expressed her confidence that the founder of RMMC would not have dared to illegally occupy Maestro TV’s building at Nutsubidze Street 93, as he did a week ago, without this cooperation.

Denying the rumors about selling the company’s assets or broadcasting frequency Asatiani emphasized that Kitsmarishvili has nothing to do with Maestro TV and promised that the studio would soon continue broadcasting from a new place. Encouraging everyone to end the controversy around the issue Asatiani hoped that Kitsmarishvili and his supporters would answer for their crimes. Meanwhile the journalists of Maestro TV addressed the Public Defender Giorgi Tugushi to react to the violations of law enforcers who backed up Kitsmarishvili in carrying out his illegal activities against the media.

Having filed a lawsuit against Maestro TV on December 2, Kitsmarishvili remained at the former building of Maestro TV transmitting Reuters’ footage on satellite. “I promised I would switch the signal and I did,” Kitsmarishvili said stressing that his office is the only legal place for broadcasting Maestro’s signals, while Maestro continues airing its programs on cable networks from the studio of its FM radio station.