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TV Imedi temporarily stops informational broadcasting

By Keti Arjevanidze
Thursday, October 18
The management of the Imedi TV Company and the Patarkatsishvili family met on October 17. The aim of the meeting was to discuss the handover process of the TV station. After meeting, new owners of Imedi announced a temporal termination of informational broadcasting. The termination will last until the handover process is finished.

Imedi has been transferred to the family of Patarkatsishvili. Badri Patarkatsishvili was funding the broadcaster up until his death in February of 2008. The agreement between Patarkatsishvili’s family and Imedi's acting management was registered on October 16. Negotiations among the sides were held on October 17.The handover process continues.

The now ex-General Director of Imedi, Giorgi Arveladze, informed the Patarkatsishvili family about current projects on Imedi TV. New management will start work as soon as possible.

Ina Gudavadze, Badri Patarkatsishvili’s widow, announced that Imedi will be an independent and unbiased company. According to Gudavadze, they will try to decide all the issues of the TV company peacefully. Gudavadze also said that their family will finance the company.

The Patarkatsishvili family also met the employees of the company where they announced that there will be staff changes as well, “the people who feel that they were not acting in some concept properly, probably will guess everything on his/her own,” said Gudavadze.

Mzia Totladze-Badri Patarkatsishvili’s sister congratulated all of Georgia in the return of TV Imedi. According to her, their only purpose is to rebuild a TV company which will be objective and balanced, as it was when Badri Patarkatsishvili was alive.

“We didn’t get the company back in order to exact revenge," said Nana Patarkatsishvili-one of the owners of Imedi, while meeting the employees.

After TV Imedi’s handover to the Patarkatsishvili family, Nanuka Zhorzholiani, one of the station's popular TV show anchors, announced that she would leave the TV Company, “this is not only a human decision, it’s a moral obligation as well... I’ll always be glad of the successes of the company”, announced Zhorzholiani via Facebook.

Zhorzholiani is wife of the constitutional security department’s former head-Erekle Kodua. In 2007 Kodua and Patarkatsishvili met each other in London, where Kodua recorded a tape where Patarkatsishvili offered Kodua to participate in a state turnover. According to the tape, Patarkatsishvili talked about the exclusion of the minister of internal affairs. For this Kodua was offered $100 million dollars.

According to Patarkatsishvili family members, the details regarding information about who will guide the TV station and what kinds of changes will be performed will be announced at a later date.

TV Imedi, is owned by Georgian Media Production Group, a company in which 45% of shares are owned by Giorgi Arveladze. 10 % of its shares are owned by Joseph Kay, a distant relative of Badri Patarkatsishvili. The rest is owned by two Georgian businessmen: Giorgi Korakhashvili and Giorgi Mikeladze.

*It should be noted that in 2007, the Imedi TV station belonged to Badri Patarkatsishvili. A wealthy businessman, Patarkatsishvili was at the time preparing to challenge Mikheil Saakashvili for the presidency in Georgia. Shortly after his television station was abruptly raided by government affiliated police, Patarkatsishvili was found dead of an apparent heart-attack. These circumstances still raise many questions within society about the timing of his death ad whether or not foul-play was involved.